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Preventing "the fatal four"

In the field of construction, accidents are quite common. Even with safety measures in place, the machinery and the job site itself create the possibility for dangerous situations.

Therefore, it is especially important for construction workers to take their own measures in limiting the opportunity for work accidents. By understanding "the fatal four," or the four most common construction site injuries, companies and workers can better grasp the most effective means to keep them from happening.

1. Falls

By far, construction falls are the cause for the most fatalities on a work site. Whether it be from slipping on a wet surface, stepping in a hole, losing balance on shaky scaffolding or another event, falling can be dangerous. Proper safety training is essential, as well as having the right safety equipment, such as harnesses, nets and railings.

2. Struck-by accidents

If workers are careless or become distracted, or if a machine malfunctions, it is possible for objects to strike workers. Staying vigilant while operating and working around heavy machinery is key, as well as inspecting it for proper functionality.

3. Electrocution

Anytime that people work with electricity, they must handle it with care. For this reason, there are several safety and health standards in place, particularly regarding electricity. Also, as with any electrical item, it is best to shut it down or off when it is not in use.

4. Caught-between accidents

Similar to falls or objects striking workers, being caught between structures usually occurs due to human error or machine mishaps. To prevent it, wearing the proper gear, utilizing necessary safety equipment and staying vigilant are key.

Though these types of accidents are the most common, there are many other ways workers sustain injuries on construction sites. It is critical that workers not only stay abreast of the best safety measures, but also hold the employers and management responsible for creating a work environment that is compliant with the standards of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

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