What Is Fatal Four And How To Avoid It

What Is Fatal Four And 5 ways to Avoid It - Daily Construction Facts

Fatal Four According To OSHA

 While there is some danger involved with any employment, according to OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration), over 34% of workplace injuries are related to the construction industry. OSHA has developed Fatal four and how to avoid it on construction sites. The “Fatal Four”—falls, being hit by an item, being electrocuted, and being stuck in or between—are the top four causes of death in these occupations.

Although the “fatal four” dangers are the most common causes of injury and death in the construction business, safety managers may decrease these risks and keep their employees safe by exercising proper planning, raising awareness of them, and providing the appropriate protective gear.

What Is Fatal Four And 5 ways to Avoid It - Daily Construction Facts

The Fatal Four and how to avoid it was developed by OSHA to draw attention to the main reasons why accidents and fatalities occur in the construction industry, which is one of the deadliest for employees. The construction sector accounts for one out of every five worker fatalities in the US.

In this article, we will discuss the Fatal Four and how to avoid it developed by OSHA.

1. Falls

Fall hazards include unprotected sides or holes, improperly constructed walking or working surfaces, and failure to use proper fall protection; falls accounted for 384 out of 991 total deaths in construction in 2016.

2. Object Strikes

These include falling objects due to rigging failure, loss or shifting materials, equipment malfunctions, and vehicle or equipment strikes; strikes accounted for 93 total fatalities in 2016.

What Is Fatal Four And 5 ways to Avoid It - Daily Construction Facts

3. Electrocutions 

These are caused by contact with overhead power lines or live circuits in panels, poorly maintained cords and tools, and lightning strikes; there were 82 electrocutions in 2016.

4. Caught-in/between

 This categorization includes construction workers who are killed when caught in or compressed by equipment or objects, as well as the hazards of being struck, caught, or crushed in a collapsing structure, equipment, or material. In 2016, there were two total fatalities from this hazard.

Fatal Four and How to Avoid It:

1. Minimizing Fall Hazards

According to OSHA’s “Focus Four: Mitigating Jobsite Hazards” brochure, fall hazards are common at most workplaces, and many employees are regularly exposed to them. OSHA normally mandates that fall protection be provided for an employee working at a height of six feet or more since employees are in danger whenever they are at a height of four feet or more. Fall protection must be provided while operating above hazardous machinery and equipment, regardless of the fall distance. OSHA created The Fatal Four and how to avoid it, to call attention to the primary causes of accidents and fatalities in the construction sector.

To prevent falls, safety managers should make sure their employees always:

  • Wear and use personal fall arrest equipment.
  • Install and maintain perimeter protection.
  • Cover and secure floor openings and label floor opening covers.
  • Use ladders and scaffolds safely.

2. Reducing Struck-By Injury Rates

Struck-by injuries are caused by forced contact or collision between the afflicted person and an item or piece of machinery, and often include things that are flying, falling, swinging, or rolling. Employees should wear the proper PPE, be aware of heavy machinery, and avoid hoisted or hanging items to help prevent struck-by occurrences. The Fatal Four and how to avoid it developed by OSHA, in order to highlight the primary causes of fatal accidents and injuries in the construction sector.

Workers should also:

  • Before starting each shift, inspect the cars to make sure that all of the components and accessories are in good working order.
  • Never operate a car in reverse when the rearview mirror is obscured (unless that vehicle has an audible reverse alarm or another worker signals that it is safe).
  • Always use the right rigging to securely secure loads.
  • Ensure that all tools and equipment are tied or securely fastened.

3. Preventing Caught-in/Between Accidents

People who are trapped or crushed in moving things, in other moving objects, in operational machinery, between two or more moving objects, or between moving objects and stationary objects are said to be caught-in-between accidents. This Fatal Four and how to avoid it developed by OSHA, includes cave-ins, trenching, and being dragged into or trapped in machinery and equipment (including strangling as a consequence of clothes becoming caught in moving machinery and equipment).

What Is Fatal Four And 5 ways to Avoid It - Daily Construction Facts

Fatal Four and how to avoid it developed by OSHA, to draw attention to the primary causes of accidents. To prevent caught-in/between accidents, safety managers should ensure that their employees.:

  • Always use adequately guarded machinery.
  • Employ additional techniques to guarantee that equipment is adequately supported, locked down, or otherwise kept secure.
  • Without an effective protective system in place, never enter excavations or trenches that are unprotected and five feet or deeper (some trenches under five feet deep may also need such a system).
  • Ensure that shoring, benching, sloping, or trench shield measures are in place to protect the trench or excavation.

4. Reducing The Chances of Electrocution

The most common cause of electrocution among electrical workers is working with or close to live wires, which is a severe safety hazard. De-energizing and using lockout/Tagout procedures are part of the proper methodology. The main issues with non-electricians (such as laborers in the construction industry, carpenters, managers of non-electrical personnel, and roofers) are the inability to avoid live overhead power lines and a lack of awareness of fundamental electrical safety. Fatal Four and how to avoid it developed by OSHA, to draw attention to the primary causes of accidents and fatalities in the construction industry.

The responsibility of safety managers is to ensure that their employees are:

  • Before beginning any work, locate and identify any utilities.
  • When working with any form of equipment, keep an eye out for overhead electricity wires.
  • Keep a secure distance from electricity lines.
  • Recognize the necessary separating distances.
  • If a portable electric tool is not grounded or double-insulated, avoid using it.
  • For safety, use ground-fault circuit interrupters.
  • When working with ladders, scaffolds, or other platforms, be aware of electrical risks.

5. Safety Starts At The Top

Companies may adopt the proactive measures mentioned in this article to engage their workforces and ensure workers get home safely every night in order to enhance safety on the worksite and lessen the effects of OSHA’s Fatal Four. Building a culture of safety begins at the top, where senior management may best lead by making safety the focal point of the company’s strategic planning initiatives.

Final Thoughts

OSHA has implemented Fatal four additional measures to protect employees’ safety while working on any sort of construction site since these hazards are so prevalent. While businesses normally provide and employees use the required safety equipment as part of these procedures, some additional steps they have taken include:

  • Constructing a perimeter fence and concealing or labeling floor holes to stop falls.
  • Promoting the use of high-visibility clothes and maintaining a sense of awareness of your surroundings to prevent being hit by moving automobiles or other items.
  • Using only grounded or double-insulated power tools and being aware of and careful around power lines to prevent electrocutions.
  • Establishing a protective system (which may include a shield) while operating in a trench-style location to avoid being trapped in or between deaths.

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