In construction, the "Fatal Four" are the four main ways that construction workers are killed year in and year out. While the most attention often goes to falls, it's important to remember that incidents in which workers are struck by objects -- called "struck-by" accidents -- are very common.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) notes that 26 percent of deadly accidents fall into this category. That's just in construction. When looking at all job-related deaths, they still account for 10 percent of the deadly accidents. They take hundreds of lives per year.
The way they happen can vary drastically from one job site to the next. However, the risk is clearly real. For instance, perhaps you're working on a new apartment complex. Above you, workers are cutting a piece of plywood with a circular saw. You're standing six stories below them, on the ground, talking to your supervisor.
The workers above you were in a hurry, and they didn't secure the saw. It catches in the board, jerks out of their grasp, and falls over the edge of the building. You have a split second to hear the yells from above when it hurdles into the sand at your feet.
Six inches to the left, and that could have been a fatal struck-by accident. Even with a hardhat on, there may not have been much you could do to avoid serious injury.
Have you been injured on the job, or has a loved one been killed? If so, it may be time to look into all of your legal options.
Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Big Four Construction Hazards: Struck - by Hazards," accessed Sep. 12, 2017