Fatal Four: The Four Most Common Causes of Fatal Workplace Injuries
The fatal four OSHA workplace injuries account for over 50% of work-related deaths every year. In fact, by eliminating these hazards, over 500 workers’ lives could be saved annually.
In order to mitigate these risks, it’s important to understand what they are and how to prevent them. Read on for our guide to the fatal four workplace injuries.
1. Electrocution Hazards
Electrocution is one of the fatal four job injuries that poses more of a risk than many people realize. While this is an obvious concern for doing electrical work, the dangers of electrocution are present in almost any workplace.
Even if you’re not working directly with electricity, there are many electrical hazards that could lead to electrocution. For instance, old equipment could shock an unsuspecting user, or employees could get electrocuted when water, metal, or other conductors are present near electronics or power tools.
To avoid electrical injuries as much as possible, update equipment, clean up spills, and always be mindful of electrical risks. Those doing electrical work should always be cautious and wear the proper personal protective gear.
2. Fall Hazards
Falling is another one of the fatal four job injuries that could happen in a wide range of work environments. Falls could happen due to trips, slippery floors, or unsafe ladder practices.
Falls can have a particularly devastating effect on an employee’s wellbeing and ability to perform their job afterward. For instance, they could break a bone, be unable to walk properly, or even suffer paralysis following an injury.
To minimize falling risks, be sure all ladders are safe to use, clean up spills immediately, and keep all walking areas clear from clutter. Employees in workplaces with frequently wet or slick floors might also benefit from wearing nonslip shoes as an extra precaution.
3. ‘Struck-by’ Hazards
The third hazard of the fatal four job injuries involves employees getting hit or struck by moving objects. This could be a car, forklift, or even falling objects. In many cases, injuries can be quite severe or even fatal.
In order to minimize struck-by hazards in the workplace, every employee should be well-educated on operating forklifts or other working vehicles. Additionally, employees should be alert at all times and not operate machinery under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Lastly, overhead objects and objects stored on high shelves should be kept secure at all times.
4. Caught In or In-Between
This is one of the fatal four job injuries that typically affects those who are working with machinery or moving parts on a day-to-day basis. If proper care isn’t observed, employees can become stuck or caught in the moving parts, leading to serious injury or death.
To prevent unnecessary risks, employees should wear tight-fitting clothing and avoid wearing jewelry or other pieces that can get caught. They should also pay attention at all times. If employees are overly tired or under the influence, then they shouldn’t be working near risky equipment.
Preventing the Fatal Four Workplace Injuries
While OSHA’s fatal four workplace injuries cannot be prevented entirely, they can be significantly reduced by taking the proper precautions. Now that you know what to do, you can start minimizing your risks of injury today.