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The Fatal Four – Common Construction Site Injuries That Put Workers at Risk

On Behalf of | Oct 22, 2018 | Workers' Compensation

While every job has its risks of injury, each and every day construction workers place themselves in a potential dangerous situation by going to a work. Each day construction workers have to work in conditions and with tools that have a high risk of injury. Whether it is climbing atop scaffolding or working around constantly moving heavy machinery that could crush a foot without missing a beat, construction work is both hard and dangerous work.

In order to make construction work and indeed all work sites safer, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has implemented rules and safety standards to protect workers while also tracking accidents. As such, they have detailed what sort of accidents construction workers are most at risk for, labeling them the “fatal four“.

The Fatal Four Accidents of Construction

Of all the construction site accidents recorded by OSHA, there are four most common and most dangerous of the whole list. This means that each day you put on those work boots and head down to the site, these four accidents have a higher risk of happening and causing serious injury than any other types of construction accidents. In fact, of all the construction related fatalities in 2016, the fatal four were responsible for 63.7% of them.


Even on one story buildings, construction workers will need to get up high to continue the build, and even a six to twelve foot fall presents a large opportunity for injury. Obviously, the higher up a worker is the risk of serious injury or fatality is increased. Whether it was from a missed step or improperly installed scaffolding, construction workers who work off ground level are dangerously at risks for falls, making this the first and most deadly of the fatal four.

Struck by Object

We all know the old gag where someone is carrying a piece of lumber, turns, and accidentally strikes another person. While it may be pretty funny to watch on TV, the truth is that being struck by any object on a construction site can do damage, even if it strikes them on their hard hat. Furthermore, it is not just workers carrying around unwieldy objects, but the more levels a building has, the bigger the chance of an object falling from above, from a piece of scrap to a lost tool. Even if something light falls from a high enough height, it has the possibility of causing major impact when it reaches the worker down below.


On any site where electrical is being installed, there is always the potential for exposed wires and electrocutions. The concern is that many workers are working near live wires on construction sites or below power lines and construction workers of not given even the basics of electrical safety knowledge when trained. Most construction workers learn their electrical safety on the job itself, but even then electrocution accidents have a huge possibility of happening.

Caught-in / Caught Betweens

A fair bit of construction work isn’t just building up, but building down as well. Those who work in trenches to lay pipe or do any sort of other trench work run the risk of being caught in cave-ins, especially since the dirt dug out of trenches is often kept just above their heads. Furthermore, caught-in or caught-between accidents aren’t just for excavation crews. This final fatal four also covers being backed into by trucks or other heavy machinery. Not only is there the potential for being backed over and crushed, but these machines can also pin workers up against walls as well.

Need Help?

Are you a construction worker in Minnesota? The state has no shortage of new building projects, but this means for every new site you step onto; there is a new risk of injury. If you are a construction worker in Minnesota that has already been hurt and needs help getting compensation through worker’s compensation, contact us today.