The Fatal Four in Construction Accidents

Matt Murphy Dec 28, 2018

A worker in a cherry picker/boom lift bucketConstruction sites and industrial workplaces can be dangerous, both to workers and to non-workers who are passing through the area. That’s why Murphy Law Firm always takes construction accidents and catastrophic injuries to construction workers seriously. These incidents can result in devastating harm, long-term disability, and even the loss of life.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 1 in 5 worker deaths in 2016 involved employees in construction. There are four kinds of accidents in particular that cause more than half of the construction fatalities each year. These accidents are known as the “Fatal Four.” Our Great Falls, MT lawyers would like to explore these kinds of accidents in more detail so you understand the dangers involved.

About the Fatal Four

OSHA has found that four kinds of accidents are most likely to cause fatalities at construction sites. The fatal four are as follows:

  • Falls
  • Struck by Objects
  • Electrocution
  • Caught-In/Between (i.e., being crushed/compressed by objects)

According to OSHA numbers, 63.7 percent of all construction fatalities were the result of the fatal four. Let’s consider each of these kinds of accidents individually below.


Falls could involve cranes, scaffolding, ledges, ladders, or other high places. It is why safety lines and other kinds of fall protection are so important at construction sites. OSHA found that 384 construction worker deaths were the result of falls in 2016.

Struck by Objects

Being struck by objects usually involves tools and materials falling from a high place. This is why wearing hard hats is crucial for safety while at a construction site. OSHA found that 93 construction accident fatalities in 2016 were the result of workers being struck by objects.


Electrocution can be deadly; survivors of electrocution accidents could experience severe burns and nerve damage with long-term impact. Workers must be careful around any wiring at a work site. OSHA found that 82 construction worker deaths were the result of electrocution in 2016.


When a worker is crushed or compressed by vehicles, equipment, or collapsing scaffolding, the sheer extent of the injuries sustained can be devastating. Workers must always be on the lookout for each other’s well being. OSHA found that 72 construction worker deaths were caused by these kinds of incidents.

How Our Lawyers Can Help

If you have lost a loved one as a result of the fatal four, we can discuss the nature of your case and whether legal action should be considered. Negligence on the part of a company could have contributed to the fatal accident occurring, which may be grounds for seeking legal action. Denial of worker’s compensation or insurance benefits may also arise following fatal work injuries, and surviving loved ones can benefit from having skilled attorneys on their side.

Ultimately, our lawyers are here to offer sound legal guidance about any issues that you may face. It is peace of mind that cannot be achieved when you go it alone.

Contact Our Team of Attorneys

For more information about your legal rights and options following a construction accident, be sure to contact an experienced work injury attorney. The team at Murphy Law Firm is here to help. You can reach our office by phone at (406) 452-2345.

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