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OSHA and the “fatal four”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has many responsibilities, including the enforcement of safety and health legislation.

Even though OSHA does its part in helping companies understand what they should and not should be doing from a safety perspective, there are still thousands of accidents every year, throughout the country, that injure or kill workers.

The construction industry can be extremely dangerous. According to OSHA, approximately 20 percent of worker fatalities in private industry in 2013 were in construction. This works out to 828 deaths.

OSHA has pinpointed the "fatal four" accidents that account for most construction fatalities. If these accidents were entirely eliminated, it would save nearly 500 lives in the United States every year.

The fatal four includes:

-- Falls: 36.5 percent of construction deaths in 2013

-- Struck by object: 10.1 percent of deaths

-- Electrocutions: 8.6 percent of deaths

-- Caught-in/between: 2.5 percent of deaths

As you can see, falls cause the most accidents in the construction industry. In fact, falls account for more than the other three "fatal four" accidents combined.

Federal OSHA, along with state partners, is aware of the dangers associated with the construction industry. This is why the agency puts so much time, money, and resources into the prevention of common accidents.

If you work in the construction industry, you should understand the dangers associated with the job. This can help you avoid a dangerous situation that could result in injury or death.

If individuals are injured on a construction site, they should seek immediate medical attention before doing anything else, such as learning more about their legal rights.

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Commonly Used Statistics," accessed June 24, 2015

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