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The Fatal Four: The Most Common Causes of Death at Construction Sites

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2023 | Personal Injury |

Construction sites can be hazardous places, with various potential risks to workers and bystanders. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the most common causes of death at construction sites are falls, being struck-by something, being caught-in/between something, and electrocutions — the so-called “Fatal Four.”


Construction workers may fall due to slippery or uneven surfaces, improper use of ladders or scaffolding, faulty safety equipment, or careless work practices. Falls can result in injuries ranging from broken bones to internal bleeding, traumatic brain injury, and even death.

Struck By

At a construction site, it is also common to be struck by an object, which is the leading cause of death and injury at these locations.  A “struck by” incident occurs when a worker is hit by flying, falling, or swinging objects, such as tools, materials, or debris. The force of the object can cause serious harm or even death.

Injuries can range from broken bones to bruises to lacerations to head trauma to internal bleeding. These types of injuries can be extremely serious and lead to long-term health problems for workers.

“Struck by” accidents are often preventable with proper safety precautions in place. Workers should always wear protective gear and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Supervisors should also ensure that all equipment is properly inspected and maintained to reduce the risk of these types of incidents occurring.

Caught In/Between

“Caught-in/between” accidents, also known as “struck-by-caught-in/between” incidents, are also common in the construction industry. This type of accident occurs when a person is caught in or between two objects, such as heavy machinery or materials. Common scenarios include being crushed, pinned, or pressed between two things.

Many factors can contribute to “caught-in/between” accidents, and poor planning and lack of safety training are often to blame. When heavy machinery is not maintained correctly, or workers do not understand the risks involved in certain tasks, they can sometimes become trapped between two objects.

Employers must ensure workers are adequately trained to identify and prevent these types of incidents. “Caught-in/between” accidents can lead to devastating injuries, such as crushing of limbs, amputation or death.


Electrocution can occur if a worker comes into contact with a high voltage of electricity. Because electricity is invisible, it can be difficult to identify and avoid without proper training. Faulty equipment can be particularly dangerous because the risk is difficult to identify.

The Reardon Law Firm, P.C. handles all types of construction site accidents in which workers and others are injured in Connecticut and Rhode Island, as well as other locations.