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The Fatal Four—the Most Common Causes of Accidental Death on a Construction Site

Accidental Death on a Construction SiteWith nearly 20 fatal accidents every week, the construction industry consistently ranks as the most dangerous place in America to work. In 2015 alone, more than 900 construction workers died in accidents caused by someone’s carelessness or negligence. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there were four types of accidents that accounted for almost 2/3rds of the construction site deaths: falls from heights, falling objects, electrocutions and so-called “caught between” accidents.

Falls from Heights

Far and away the leading cause of death on a construction project, falls from heights caused more than one-third (38.8%) of all fatalities on residential and commercial construction jobs. These accidents can stem from a variety of careless or negligent acts, such as:

  • Failure to properly erect, monitor or maintain a scaffold or ladder
  • Failure to provide necessary or appropriate barriers, including guard rails, fencing or other protective measures
  • Dangerous or defective equipment, including construction elevators or cranes

Falling Objects

Approximately one in ten (9.6%) construction workers who died on the job in 2015 were killed when they were hit by falling objects, such as tools or equipment, debris or trash, or building materials. In every instance, the accident could have been avoided through the exercise or reasonable care.


Almost as many construction workers died from electrical shock (8.6%). Most of those came into contact with electrical wiring being installed or loose on the project, though a third were killed after making contact with an overhead power line.

Caught-Between Accidents

Nearly 70 construction workers died in 2015 when they were crushed or caught between heavy equipment, other objects and building structures.

Contact Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney Jacob Oresky

If your loved one has been hurt or killed on a construction site, the law offices of Jacob Oresky can help. For a free case evaluation, contact us online or call our office at (718) 993-9999. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.We represent personal injury victims throughout the New York City metropolitan area, including Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

We handle all ladder and scaffolding personal injury claims on a contingency basis. You won’t incur any attorney fees unless we get compensation for your losses.

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