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What’s the “Fatal 4” in construction?

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2024 | Construction Accidents

Construction jobs are not easy, and they’re definitely not for the weak. Hazards are everywhere you look. 

It might surprise you to learn, however, that the vast majority of construction site fatalities (and major injuries) come from just four specific things. These are called the “Fatal Four” by the Occupational Safety And Health Administration (OSHA). They include:


This is the number one cause of construction-related fatalities. Construction workers often work at elevated heights, on scaffolds, roofs and ladders. Even a sure-footed worker can end up slipping at the wrong moment, and construction companies are not always great about enforcing safety regulations that require the use of harnesses.

Struck-by Accidents

This is a broad term for incidents where workers are hit by moving objects, like tools, equipment and materials. A construction site can be incredibly busy, and all it takes is someone dropping a hammer from above or not checking their blind spot before they move a truck to cause a fatality.

Caught-in/Between Incidents

These are tragic accidents that usually cause a worker to be crushed to death. The most common way that occurs on a construction site is through a trench collapse. Workers and on-site safety inspectors sometimes don’t realize that a trench isn’t properly shored up.


There’s no getting around the fact that construction work takes electricity, and electricity can be dangerous. The main hazards include ungrounded tools that aren’t properly insulated, missing circuit interrupters and a failure to stay at a safe distance from live power lines. 

While your employer is supposed to take steps to keep your workplace reasonably safe, it always pays to be proactive. Knowing the main hazards to your life can help you remember to keep your personal protective gear on and watch your positioning at all times. 

When a worker is killed on the job, their family may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Legal guidance can help you learn more.