The fatal 4 in construction can take lives: Learn more

By Steven Miller
Senior Partner

There are many construction hazards that people face, but there are four that are more serious and common than others. These are called the “fatal four.”

The fatal four hazards include falls, being caught in or between, getting electrocuted and being struck by objects. The good news is that it is possible to make a work environment safer and to avoid these serious accidents.

How can you prevent falls?

Preventing falls is as easy as being aware of your surroundings and wearing the right kind of fall arrest equipment. Some tips to prevent falls include:

  • Using ladders and scaffolding according to manufacturing specifications
  • Using perimeter protection
  • Securing or covering floor openings and labeling them
  • Using fall-arrest equipment

How can you prevent getting caught in or between objects?

To avoid getting caught between objects, make sure you don’t work in unprotected trenches, or excavations with a depth of five feet or more with protective systems in place. Also, if you’re working with machinery, always use the guards as required. Try not to have any loose hair or clothing near the machinery.

How can you prevent electrocution?

This is trickier than other hazards, because you may need to work with electricity. Some of the things you can do to avoid an electrocution include:

  • Finding utility lines before you start work
  • Looking for overhead lines and marking them
  • Using ground-fault circuit interrupters
  • Staying a safe distance from power lines
  • Avoiding operating electrical tools that are not grounded or double insulated

How can you avoid getting struck by another object?

It’s usually simpler to avoid being struck than it is to avoid falls or other hazards. It requires you to make sure you’re never walking between moving and fixed objects and that you are always wearing brightly colored, visible clothing to make you stand out.

These are the four serious accidents that can happen on the job and some ways to avoid them. Remember, your workplace may never be 100% safe, but there are plenty of things you can do to make hazards more noticeable and to prevent them from causing significant injuries on the job in New York.

Always do your best to recognize the hazards that are around you and take steps to make yourself safer when you’re around them. If there are new or unusual hazards, make sure you mention them to your employer, so they can do what’s needed to eliminate them from the work environment.

About the Author
Steven Miller, Esq. is the founding member and Senior Partner in Miller, Montiel & Strano, P.C. Mr. Miller’s extensive career as a trial attorney spans five decades. He tries cases for the catastrophically injured victims of construction site accidents, motor vehicle and premises accidents caused by the negligence of others. Mr. Miller is a detail oriented, tenacious attorney committed to achieving the maximum results for his clients; he has obtained numerous seven figure verdicts and settlements.