Avoiding the Four Most Common Causes of Construction Accidents

Staying safe on the job site should be a construction worker’s number one priority. OSHA’s “Fatal Four” highlights the leading causes of construction accidents – and offers guidelines on how to prevent them.


Although easily avoidable, falls – especially from lower levels – are far too common on job sites. To mitigate fall risk, workers should always wear personal fall arrest equipment. Other safety measures include: Maintaining perimeter protection, taking extra precaution on ladders and scaffolding, and ensuring floor openings are covered.

Struck by an Object

Falling, swinging, flying, or rolling objects can easily catch workers off guard. Workers should avoid putting themselves between moving and fixed objects. High-visibility clothing should always be worn – especially near heavy equipment and vehicles.


Electrical malfunctions can – and do – occur, especially if workers are not trained electricians. Overhead power and utility lines should be identified prior to starting work, and a safe distance should be maintained. Any portable electric tools should not be operated unless they are double-insulated or grounded.

Caught-in or Caught-between

Caught-in or caught-between accidents generally occur when heavy machinery is on site. Extensive training and familiarization with equipment helps to prevent serious risks. Workers should also wear close-fitting clothing and pull back long hair to avoid being caught in machinery.

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