What Is the Construction Industry’s ‘Fatal Four’?

If there is one sure sign that summer has come to Illinois it is the ubiquitous presence of orange barrels on the roadways. Construction work in Illinois often goes on when the weather is pleasant, and while it is sometimes an annoyance especially during the rush-hour commute, the regular maintenance of our roads and buildings is a necessity. However, construction work is dangerous work.

In calendar year 2018, approximately 21% of worker deaths in the private industry were in the construction industry. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has coined what it calls the “Fatal Four” causes of construction fatalities. These are the top causes of fatalities in the construction industry. It is estimated that if the Fatal Four were prevented, 591 lives could be saved each year.

  1. The first of the Fatal Four is falls. In calendar year 2018, 33.5% of construction fatalities were due to falls.
  2. The second of the Fatal Four is being struck by an object. This was the cause of 11.1% of construction worker deaths in calendar year 2018.
  3. The third of the Fatal Four is electrocutions. Electrocutions were the cause of 8.5% of construction deaths in calendar year 2018.
  4. Finally, the fourth of the Fatal Four is being caught-in/between objects. This caused 5.5% of construction worker fatalities in calendar year 2018.

The Fatal Four constituted 58.6% of construction worker fatalities in 2018. They are prime examples of the dangers that construction workers face while on the job. If a construction worker in the Peoria area dies on the job, his or her survivors will want to determine whether they are entitled to death benefits through the workers’ compensation system.

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