The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has a singular mission to improve workplace safety. Over the years they have collected data that helps them better understand the risks that employees face on the job. This includes what they refer to as the Fatal Four. Especially in the construction industry, these are accidents that can have the highest rate of injury or fatality. While the rates of injury or death have fallen since the implementation of OSHA, there is still a risk to employees. Regardless of your industry, here are OSHA’s Fatal Four and how you can prevent them.
By far the biggest danger in the workplace, 36.5% of all construction site deaths happen as a result of a fall. There are a number of reasons for this including unsecured scaffolding, unprotected sides, improperly place walkways and more. And while this statistic is primarily geared toward construction workers, there are plenty of potential hazards in any workplace that could cause a fall. Take a look at your safety protocol and determine how you can protect your employees when dealing with heights or climbing.
Struck by an Object
10% of workplace deaths in construction were due to falling objects. Most often this was related to insecure rigging or other mismanagement of heavy materials or equipment. Being hit by a vehicle on the job also accounts for this stat. But just because you’re not on a construction site doesn’t mean that injuries caused by heavy objects aren’t a concern in your workplace. Make a plan to ensure the safety and security of materials and equipment.
In construction, 8.6% of deaths on the job were related to electrocution. It’s easy to see how this hazard happens in a construction environment. There are exposed wires and even power lines that are major contributors to unsafe working conditions around electricity. However, there are other dangers as well. Tools with frayed cords or that are poorly maintained also contribute to injury or even death through electrocution. And don’t forget the risk of working outside in inclement weather that might produce lightning. Follow OSHA’s specific electrical safety guidelines to ensure your team is protected.
Caught-In or Caught-Between
2.5% of construction-related deaths occur when a worker is caught between or in equipment or materials. This relates to large machinery, other tools, or even collapse on a worksite. While you may not think this is a major risk factor in your work environment, it is worth something to be concerned and cautious about this risk regardless of your specific industry.
Do you want to ensure that your workplace is compliant with OSHA standards and safe for your workforce? Contact ProStaff today to learn more.