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Avoiding the “Fatal Four” on a construction site

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2019 | Injuries |

Working in the construction industry in New Jersey can be extremely dangerous and, in some cases, deadly. The leading causes of construction worker fatalities are falls, electrocutions, being hit by an object or getting caught between objects. In the construction industry, these are known as the “Fatal Four.”

You may be wondering what you can do to avoid one of the “Fatal Four” when you are working on a construction site. By understanding where the greatest risks are, you can take steps to stay safe on construction sites.


Out of the “Fatal Four,” falls are the leading cause of worker deaths. Falls from roofs have the highest fatality rates followed by ladder and scaffolding accidents. If you are working in one of the areas or on anything higher than six feet tall, you should take extra precautions to avoid an accident. For instance, always use your personal protection gear and be sure there are fall arrest systems in place when you are working at heights. If you are working in an area that is 30 feet in the air, be sure there are safety nets in place.


When it comes to electrocution, it does not take much to be fatal. Contact with 50 to 100 milliamperes of current could be enough to cause death. The danger is not only in contact with electrical lines, but also from faulty tools and equipment. Always check your tools to make sure the wiring is not compromised and that there are no live and exposed cables in areas where you will be working.

Struck by accidents

Objects in motion also pose a high risk for construction workers. Whether it is tools or materials falling from a height or heavy machinery being operated by another worker, getting struck by an object can be deadly. When you are on a site, always be alert for objects that are flying, falling, swinging and rolling.

Caught between objects

Of the “Fatal Four,” accidents that involve being caught between objects have the lowest fatality rate. While these are similar to struck by accidents, they also include incidents such as becoming caught between moving parts of machinery and trench collapses. When you are working around objects that pose this kind of danger, make sure safety guards and supports are in place and not compromised. Also, avoid wearing loose clothing and always use the appropriate safety equipment required for the situation.

While the above tips can reduce your chances of a construction site accident, it does not mean that the risk is completely gone. Things go can wrong quickly on construction sites and the consequences can often be devastating. If you suffer a workplace injury, you might be able to file a claim and receive the compensation and other benefits you deserve.