What are the Fatal Four?

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2023 | Workplace Accidents |

There are few occupations someone can choose that are more dangerous than construction work, at least when looking at the total number of fatalities that happen in the construction industry every year. It is widely regarded as an industry with a lot of risks, because it usually has the highest number of fatalities out of all industries in the United States.

Naturally, there are hundreds of different ways that fatal construction accidents happen. But it is possible to rank the four general categories which represent most fatal accidents. As a result, these have become known as the Fatal Four. Workers need to know what they are so that they can stay safer on the job.


First of all, falls are responsible for the most injuries and fatalities year in and year out. This injury category includes when a worker trips on a staircase or slips and falls on a slick floor. It also includes when someone falls from a ladder or off of a roof. Always remember that people don’t have to be very high to suffer fatal injuries as a result of a fall.


Next, there are incidents where workers are struck by tools or moving equipment. This could include a scenario where a worker walks behind a truck that is backing up, for example. But it could also include a worker who is struck by a falling power tool, which was not secured properly by another worker above.

Caught between

Trench collapses are an example of a worker being dangerously caught between both sides of the trench. But these injuries also often happen when workers are using heavy equipment and machinery. Those who work with hydraulic presses face a high degree of related injury risk, for example.


Finally, workers too often pass away in electrocution accidents. This sometimes happens because they are working with wires and installing electrical systems directly. But it could also happen when workers are digging and accidentally strike a powerline or when a ladder hits a powerline over a job site.

Seeking workers’ comp benefits

The above are definitely known as the Fatal Four for a reason, but it’s also important to remember that most workers will not pass away from their injuries in the event of workplace harm. In many cases, non-fatal injuries can be quite severe. It’s important for workers to know what legal steps to take to seek proper workers’ comp benefits under such circumstances. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to begin.

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