Statistics have shown that construction sites are among the most dangerous places to work. The danger isn't only of workplace injuries. Fatal construction accidents are also a real risk.
Indeed, safety regulators speak of the so-called "fatal four." This phrase refers to four different types of construction accidents that together claim about 420 lives a year. Falls are by far the most frequent of the four. Being stuck by an object, electrocutions and being caught in between objects also kill many construction workers.
But these four types of construction accidents are hardly an exclusive list. In a recent fatal construction accident in Maryland, a worker was killed when a trench collapsed.
The accident occurred last month in the Severn area. Firefighters and public works crews responded to the scene. They had to dig for more than three hours, however, to reach the worker's body.
The worker was a 25-year-old man who was part of a crew that was assigned to dig a hole as part of a residential construction project. The hole was seven feet deep when dirt collapsed, burying the man underneath.
The Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Department has begun an investigation. But obviously, regardless of what the investigation determines, this case is a terrible reminder of just how dangerous construction work can be.
It also shows that construction work can be very dangerous even when it doesn't involved working at elevated heights. To be sure, scaffolding collapses and falls from heights are still the most common form of fatal construction accident. But there is also danger from many other sources.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Construction worker killed in trench collapse in Severn," Carrie Wells, August 19, 2013