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Construction workers: be aware of the Fatal Four

Construction work is typically quite demanding, physically and mentally. Depending on the scope of a particular project, there can be unfinished structures, hazardous materials and powerful machinery to be aware of on a site. In addition to all this, workers are often under tight deadlines that require them to work as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Unfortunately, the goal of meeting deadlines can take priority over safety on too many job sites and this can result in careless behaviors, lacking safety protocols and unsafe decisions that put a worker's health and safety in jeopardy. 

As noted by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, there are four types of accidents that led to more than half of all construction worker fatalities in 2014. They are collectively referred to as the Fatal Four.

  1. Falls caused 39.9 percent of fatalities
  2. Electrocution caused 8.5 percent of fatalities
  3. Being struck by an object caused 8.4 percent of fatalities
  4. Getting stuck in or between objects caused 1.4 percent of fatalities

While there are numerous federal and state regulations that are in place and enforced in an effort to prevent these accidents, they can and do still happen.

Some of these accidents happen despite the best efforts to avoid them; others happen because there was a failure to enforce safety policies or properly train or supervise workers.

Construction workers who are injured on the job should understand that they have options when it comes to seeking financial support for their injuries. In some cases this will involve applying for workers' compensation benefits; in other cases, you may want to consider filing a personal injury claim against a negligent party in addition to a workers' compensation claim.

Whether one or both of these options is appropriate in a particular situation will depend on many different factors. Discussing the specific details of an incident with an attorney can help construction accident victims and their families assess their legal options.

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