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Construction Risk Advisor

Construction Risk Advisor

February 2019


The February Construction Risk Advisor newsletter features the four leading causes of death in construction and recommends an effective safety training program to preven worker fatalities.


According to the latest OSHA data, 4,674 private industry workers were killed on the job in 2017, and more than 20 percent of those workers were in construction. The leading causes for private sector worker fatalities in construction are known as the fatal four: falls, struck by an object, electrocutions and caught in or between objects. Together, they were responsible for more than half of the private sector construction worker deaths in 2017.

OSHA estimates that eliminating the fatal four in construction would save 582 lives every year.


Over 39 percent of the 971 construction deaths in 2017 were due to falls. Coincidentally, fall protection was the most frequently cited OSHA standard in 2018. Although safety is everyone’s responsibility on the job site, the blame lies on the employer in most cases. Unprotected roof edges and floor openings, improper scaffold construction and unsafe portable ladders are common causes of preventable injuries and fatalities.


An important first step in preventing worker deaths and injuries in construction is to develop a strong safety culture and implement effective training programs.

OSHA’s Construction Focus Four Training Program includes materials employers can use to help workers understand the hazards they face and make them aware of their employer’s responsibility to protect them. Each lesson provides a variety of construction industry scenarios that trainees can work through individually or as part of a group.

Contact ISU Cunnington & Associates at for more information and training materials to help prevent your employees from becoming a fatal four statistic.