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  • Writer's pictureFahad Gohar

#Focus Four #Hazards Highlighted

The four leading hazards in the construction industry, described by OSHA are falls, caught in or between, struck by, and electrocution

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016, the Focus Four Hazards—also called the Fatal Four—were responsible for 64% of all fatalities in the construction sector. (OSHA separately states that 90% of construction fatalities come from these four hazards.) Falls lead the group with 384 out of 991 total deaths (38.7%), followed by struck by object—93 deaths (9.4%); electrocutions—82 deaths (8.3%); and caught in between—72 deaths (7.3%). (The caught-in-between category includes construction workers killed when caught in or compressed by equipment or objects and struck, caught, or crushed in collapsing structures, equipment, or material.) Also in 2016, failure to comply with OSHA’s fall protection regulations topped all other violations cited by the agency. Construction inspections comprise 60% of OSHA’s total inspections.

Common ways that workers are injured or killed by these hazards


  • Falls on the same level

  • Falls from heights

  • Unprotected sides, edges and holes

  • Failure to wear and use personal fall arrest systems

  • Failure to properly use personal fall arrest systems

  • Slips and trips

Struck by

  • Falling objects—rigging failure; loose or shifting materials; equipment tip over or malfunction; lack of overhead protection

  • Vehicle and equipment strikes

  • Struck by flying objects

Caught in/Caught between

  • Caught in or compressed by equipment of objects

  • Trench/excavation collapse

  • Rotating equipment

  • Unguarded parts

  • Collapsing structures or materials


  • Contact with overhead power lines

  • Contact with live circuits in panels

  • Poorly maintained cords and tools

  • Lack of AR and FR rated clothing

  • Improper use of AR and FR rated clothing


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