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Which accidents make up the construction industry’s Fatal Four?

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2022 | Construction Accidents

No one denies that construction work is dangerous. Did you know, however, that it is so fraught with danger that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration compiled a list of the four types of accidents that cause the largest number of construction fatalities each year?

Called the Fatal Four, Construction Connect reports that OSHA’s list consists of the following types of accidents:

  1. Falls
  2. Struck-by-objects
  3. Electrocutions
  4. Caught-in and caught-between


Nationwide, falls cause 38.7% of all construction deaths and are therefore your greatest risk. Perhaps this is not so surprising since you likely do much of your work on roofs or from ladders and scaffolding.


Ranking second in deadliness, struck-by-objects accidents cause 9.4% of construction deaths each year. Examples of the types of objects that could strike you include the following:

  • Equipment and machinery that could roll into you
  • Tools that could fall on you from a higher elevation
  • Debris that could drop on you from a malfunctioning crane
  • Swinging doors that could unexpectedly shut on you


Electrocutions rank third on the Fatal Four list, causing 8.3% of annual construction deaths. These accidents happen when your body comes into contact with any high-voltage electricity source, such as an overhead power line.

Caught-in and caught-between

Finally, Caught-in and caught-between accidents account for 7.3% of construction deaths. Here the culprits include such things as elevator mechanisms, conveyor belts and heavy equipment that can trap you between itself and a wall or other hard surface.

All told, these four types of accidents cause 63.7% of nationwide construction deaths each year and untold numbers of serious, oftentimes life-changing, injuries.


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