Despite what you see in the movies, the biggest danger when constructing New York skyscrapers is not being trampled by King Kong or Godzilla. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that over half of all fatal accidents on construction sites occur for one of four reasons. These are known as the “Fatal Four.”
What are the “Fatal Four?”
They are the four primary reasons that workers die on construction sites across the country. Here they are, along with the percentage of injuries they account for:
- Falling 33%: A fall can be fatal even from a few meters if you are unlucky and land on a sharp object. There is ample safety equipment available to prevent people from falling when working above the ground.
- Being struck by an object 11%: You could be hit by items that fall, roll, swing or fly, from a dropped hammer to a shard of metal flying off a circular saw, from a swinging crane arm to a giant roll of cable that rolls of the back of a truck.
- Being electrocuted 8.5%: Modern construction sites are full of power tools requiring current. Thus there will be electrical cables all across the area. There may also be electricity cables underground which you could inadvertently hit when excavating.
- Being caught between machinery or materials 5.5%: Building sites are full of moving machinery, which could trap you and crush you if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. A wall could also fall on top of you.
Employers have a duty to provide a safe working environment. If you suffer an accident, you have a right to claim workers’ compensation insurance, whatever the cause. Even if you are an undocumented worker, you should still be covered.