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OSHA’s Fatal Four: Understanding Construction Workplace Hazards

  • Published: September 15, 2022

Construction workers must contend with a variety of unique hazards in their day-to-day operations. They face many common risks that other professions don’t encounter, such as exposure to raw materials, airborne contaminants, and heavy equipment. To keep construction workers safe from preventable injuries and fatalities while they perform their duties, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has implemented standards that are specific to the construction industry. 

Construction work can be dangerous if you don’t take the necessary precautions. OSHA has designated four main types of hazards as the “Fatal Four” for construction workers. If you have any questions about what these hazards may mean for you at work, contact the legal team at KCNS Law Group today.  

What Are the OSHA Fatal Four?

The Fatal Four are the leading causes of death in the construction industry, as identified by OSHA. They include: 

Struck-By Hazards

The most dangerous hazards are those that result in a worker being struck by an object. These hazards include scaffolds, construction equipment, and falling objects. The best way to protect workers from these hazards is to ensure that all worksites are properly designed and constructed for maximum safety, and that workers are properly trained in how to safely work in and around these hazards.

Caught-in or Between Hazards

Caught-in or between hazards occur when a worker is caught between two pieces of machinery or equipment, or between a trench and an excavation. There are many other pieces of equipment that workers may be caught between as well. 

Most caught-in or between accidents are the result of crushing injuries. Workers who are caught in moving parts of machinery or equipment can be severely injured or killed. Cave-ins are another type of caught-in or between hazard, which can occur when a trench or excavation collapses, trapping workers inside.


One of the most common workplace hazards is electrocution. This occurs when a worker comes into contact with an energized source of electrical energy, resulting in a potentially lethal amount of electrical energy flowing through the body. Electrocutions can occur when workers improperly use cords or come into contact with energized power lines.

Overhead power lines are a particularly dangerous hazard in the construction industry. OSHA has developed strict safety standards to protect workers from electrocution hazards. These standards require employers to take steps to prevent workers from coming into contact with energized sources of electrical energy. Employers must also provide workers with proper training on how to safely work around energized sources of electrical energy.

Fall Hazards

Construction sites are often full of fall hazards. These hazards can be things like heavy tools falling or scaffolding that doesn’t work in the way it should. Construction workers are at a higher risk for injuries from falls than workers in other industries, which is why it’s important for construction companies to have fall protection systems in place.

Get Help With Your Recovery From KCNS Law Group

Construction accidents can be prevented with the right care and planning, which makes them especially tragic if they do happen. In most cases, the injuries that workers’ suffer are serious and could lead to long-term unemployment, disabilities, or death. 

If you work in construction, it is in your best interest to understand the major hazards that you can always face on the job, along with what your rights are when it comes to workplace accidents, insurance, and liability. KCNS Law Group can help you with any questions or concerns you may have and get you the compensation you deserve. Take legal action to get the compensation that you are owed by contacting us online or by calling us at (818) 937-9255 to discuss your case.

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