Leading Causes of Death in the Workplace: OSHA's "Fatal Four"

Leading Causes of Death in the Workplace: OSHA's "Fatal Four"

Since 1971, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has partnered with employers, health and safety professionals, and other advocates as a means of creating safe and functional workplaces. Over the years, injury and death rates in the workplace have decreased tremendously. Nonetheless, many workplace injuries and fatalities occur every day. In fact, OSHA reports that there are over 12 work-related deaths throughout the country every day, on average.

What are the Most Common Workplace Injuries According to OSHA?

In 2014, 4,821 workers were killed on the job, according to statistics from OSHA. Unfortunately, a large percentage of these fatalities involved workers in the construction industry, as numerous hazards exist on construction sites.

The leading causes of workplace deaths in the construction industry, called the “Fatal Four” by OSHA, include:

  • Falls: Roughly 36.5% of all deaths in the workplace occurred due to employees falling. This includes workers who have fallen off ladders, roofs, scaffolding, large skyscraper construction areas, etc.
  • Struck by an Object: An estimated 10.1% of deaths occurred due to swinging, falling, or misplaced objects.
  • Electrocutions: About 8.6% of employees died due to electrocution. Workers face a number of electrocution risks on construction site such as exposed wiring, wet conditions while outlets are exposed, etc.
  • Caught-in or Caught-between: Employees caught in or between machines, devices, or tools causing death accounted for about 2.5% of deaths.

Although OSHA posts and attempts to regulate health and safety standards in all workplaces, on-the-job fatalities and safety issues remain a constant concern, especially in the construction industry. In fact, if the Fatal Four were entirely eliminated, approximately 545 American workers’ lives would be saved each year. For this reason, it is important employees remain aware of their surroundings, ensuring that they take proper precautions at all times. It is also important that employees notify employers if they suspect something is unhealthy or hazardous in their work zones.

Virginia Lawyer for Work-Related Deaths & Injuries

Regardless of the causes, employee well-being should be the top priority in any workplace. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed while on the job, our legal team at The Barrera Law Firm, PLLC is here to guide you through this difficult time. Allow our team to protect your rights and help you and your loved ones secure the compensation you need.

Contact us today to discuss your case with an Alexandria injury lawyer from our firm.