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OSHA-Determined Fatal Four Hazards in Construction and How to Prevent Them

A construction worker with an injury

OSHA stands for Occupational Hazards and Safety Administration. It’s the most renowned and respected regulatory authority in the US focused on improving worksite safety and employee well-being. And today, we will discuss the OSHA-determined Fatal Four Risks for the construction industry.

The construction industry in the US is highly competitive and risky. Its workers are exposed to high-grade safety hazards and hazards every day. The safety regulatory organization also says that the construction industry reports the highest number of accidents annually. That’s why OSHA has determined the four most serious risks that often result in dangerous accidents and mishaps in the construction sector.

Continue reading this blog to learn all about the OSHA-determined fatal four risks and how you can prevent them.

Why Has OSHA Defined the Construction Fatal Four Risks?

OSHA reported a whopping 41.1% increase in construction industry accidents in the period of 2011 – 2019, after which it specified the four most prevalent risks that affected construction workers. The Fatal Four construction risks include:

  1. Falls

  2. Caught-In or –Between

  3. Struck-By

  4. Electrocution

All of the above risks are highly associated with crane equipment and other material management equipment. Now let’s discuss each of them in detail.

  1. Falls

CDC reports that over 36% of construction industry accidents in 2019 occurred due to slip and fall hazards. Workers tend to lose stability and bodily support on uneven, rough, and unstable working grounds, resulting in injurious falls. Crane operators and spotters are also highly vulnerable to slip and fall risks when they’re working around an operational crane.

A construction worker renovating a ceiling

Falls can occur on the ground as well as on skyscraper construction sites due to incorrect ladder, crane, roof, and scaffolding practices. The best way to reduce the risk of onsite falls is to develop and implement a safety blueprint for your workers and provide them with proper PPE for maximum safety.

  1. Caught In- Or Between Accidents

Improper risk management and inadequate training often lead to workers getting stuck or pinned in machinery and structures. This risk can also cause deadly cave-ins and trench accidents, putting precious lives at risk.

While it may be difficult to identify and mitigate caught in and between risks, you can hire safety experts for end-to-end site inspections, trench and excavation conditions, and hazard prevention. Moreover, you must ensure that all trenches and excavations are safeguarded with benching, marking, and shoring techniques.

  1. Struck-By

This hazard is quite prevalent at construction sites where workers work too close to a crane or any other type of load movement equipment. They’re highly prone to get struck by falling, flying, swinging, and rolling objects.

A mobile crane

Inefficient surveillance, communication, and the absence of crane warning devices can lead to collisions between workers and suspended loads. A worker may also get hit by a piece of machinery during a lift; however, it’s important to determine whether such accidents are solely caused due to mishandled equipment or an underlying reason, such as a cave-in.

  1. Electrocution

Over 7.2% of construction site accidents are caused due to electrocution. Suspended and exposed power lines, short circuits, shocks, and fire can lead to fatal accidents affecting machine operators, engineers, on-ground spotters, and electricians at work. Workers assigned tasks closer to cable harnesses, circuit assemblies, and machines are most vulnerable to electrocution risks.

electrocution risk signage

Project managers can, however, effectively mitigate electrocution risks by locating and clearing power lines, ensuring a safe distance from electrical attachments, and installing surge protectors. You must also provide your workers with insulated boots and proper electrocution prevention training.

Using Risk-Based Approaches to Prevent Construction Site Accidents

Now that you’re well-versed in the four deadliest construction sector risks let’s talk about how to prevent them and keep your workers safe from unfortunate events. Experts at Crane Warning Systems Atlanta recommend construction project managers and companies take a risk-based approach to hazard prevention.

It means that they should conduct a holistic assessment of their worksites before deploying a particular type of safety strategy, safety device, and human resource. For example, some construction sites have higher electrocution risks due to exposed wiring, power lines, and energy poles. Whereas, if you’re working in a hilly region, you may face equipment stability and harsh weather risks.

Therefore, it’s important to understand the potential risks before implementing a fatal-four prevention strategy. Use the hierarchy of control to manage and reduce the risk of four fatal risks. In addition, OSHA offers a comprehensive Construction Focus Four training program that can help you and your workers steer clear of common worksite hazards.

You can also invest in quality crane warning devices available on our website to improve your crane equipment performance, safety, and efficiency. We sell the latest and most advanced crane warning devices, such as ATB systems, load moment, and rated capacity indicators for all types of cranes. Whether you’re looking for a wireless wind speed indicator or a high-resolution crane camera system, we’re here to help.

How Can Crane Warning Systems Atlanta Help You Prevent the Fatal Four Risks at Your Construction Site?

Crane Warning Systems Atlanta is a highly credible crane safety product distributor in the US. We have been providing cutting-edge crane warning devices and RaycoWylie products since 2001.

We also sell RaycoWylie’s vast range of crane warning products as their official distributor. RaycoWylie is the pioneer of load limit indicators, Anti two block switch, and ATB systems, among more.

If you’re looking for authentic RaycoWylie crane systems in the US, Crane Warning Systems Atlanta has got your back! We also offer 24/7 customer and technical support to help you install, configure, integrate, and use advanced crane warning systems. Our team keeps tabs on all of our customers and ensures you’re equipped with all the necessary information about crane warning indicators and their maintenance.

Don’t forget to check out our product manuals and free troubleshooting guides on our website. Contact them for more details or request a quick quote now.

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