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What Is the Leading Cause of Death in the Workplace?

It’s why it’s essential that employees continuously remain aware of their surroundings, ensuring that they take the proper precautions at all times.

For nearly 50 years, OSHA has been providing employers, health and safety professionals, and other spokespeople the means of creating a safe and functional workplace. As a result, injury and death rates in the workplace have tremendously decreased. Sadly, injuries and some fatalities occur each day. OSHA reports indicate that there are 12 work-related fatalities every day throughout the U.S.

There are four common workplace accidents, according to OSHA, that lead to fatal work injuries. Unfortunately, a large percentage of these fatalities involve workers in the construction industry.

The Fatal Four

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 5,333 fatal work injuries in the U.S. in 2019. This was a 2% increase over the previous year. It’s not surprising that a large percentage of these fatalities involved workers in the construction industry as there are so many potential hazards on construction sites.

However, of all the possible risks, there are four types of accidents that result in workplace fatalities. Construction workers work in and around hazardous situations all the time. But these situations arise in many other industries. The “fatal four,” as they are often referred to, include:

  • Falls
  • Caught-In or Caught-Between
  • Struck-By
  • Electrocution
  • Falls – It’s estimated that 36% of all fatal workplace accidents occurred due to employees falling. This includes workers who have fallen off roofs, ladders, scaffolding, large skyscrapers, and others.
  • Caught-In or Caught-BetweenOSHA defines injuries resulting from a person being caught, squeezed, crushed, pinched, or compressed between two or more objects or between parts of an object.
  • Struck by an Object – An estimated 10% of work-related deaths occurred due to a worker being struck by falling, swinging, or misplaced objects.
  • Electrocutions – Approximately 8.6% of employees die as a result of electrocution. This is a serious risk on construction sites because of exposed wiring, wet conditions while outlets are exposed, or not properly grounded.

Although OSHA strictly regulates the health and safety standards in all workplaces, on-the-job fatalities and safety issues remain a constant concern, especially in the construction industry. It’s why it’s essential that employees continuously remain aware of their surroundings, ensuring that they take the proper precautions at all times.

The Law Office of James M. Hofmann

If your loved one has died due to a work injury, our compassionate legal team has a strong history of helping injured workers get medical attention and the financial compensation they need. If you lose a loved one while they are at work, you have the right to be compensated monetarily for your loss. The first place to start is to hire a St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney to decipher how to proceed.

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Updated: January 19, 2023