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Construction's fatal four are preventable

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and aside from automobile accidents, the construction industry has a fatal four set of hazards which, as their name implies, tend to cause a lot of deadly construction accidents at work sites both in San Diego and in other parts of California and the rest of the country.

According to OSHA's most recent statistics, the fatal four are responsible for over 600 construction workers losing their lives across the country each year. This is particularly significant since construction deaths in general accounted for over 20 percent, or 937 deaths, of the 4,379 workplace fatalities reported in 2015.

Of the fatal four, by far the most common cause of fatal accidents is falls, which accounted for 364 out of the 937 construction deaths in 2015. Rounding out the fatal four are electrocutions, which accounted for 81 deaths; injuries related to being crushed or pinned, which accounted for 67 deaths, and injuries relating to getting hit by a falling or flying projectile, which accounted for 90 deaths.

Again, auto accidents were not included in these tallies, and neither were less common types of accidents which are not listed in the fatal four.

OSHA takes the position that many of these accidents are preventable and point out that in 2016, construction employers were still frequently getting cited for not offering adequate protection from falls. Improper scaffolding is also a common reason employers get cited for safety violations.

Although no one wants to see their loved one fall victim to one of the fatal four, families who do have the misfortune of losing a loved one to a construction accident should remember that financial help may be available through California's workers' compensation system in such cases.

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