The “Fatal Four” is the term that OSHA gives to the four leading causes of death in the workplace. According to stats on the OSHA website, “eliminating the Fatal Four would save 431 workers’ lives in America every year.”
The fatal four account for 57% of construction workers deaths in 2010.
What are the Fatal Four?
- Falls – 260 out of 751 total deaths in construction in CY 2010 (35%)
- Electrocutions – 76 (10%)
- Struck by Object – 63 (8%)
- Caught-in/between – 32 (4%)
According to a quote by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis “Every day in America, 12 people go to work and never come home. Every year in America, 3.3 million people suffer a workplace injury from which they may never recover. These are preventable tragedies that disable our workers, devastate our families, and damage our economy.”
The dollar amount of OSHA fines has increased substantially this past year to an average of over $2,000.00 for serious violations (up from an average of just over $1,000.00 in 2010).
Meanwhile the number of inspections dropped from 40,993 in 2010 to 40,215 in 2011. OSHA accounts for the drop by explaining that inspectors are being more thorough which means, of course, that it takes them more time.
By the way, according to the OSH website “It would take 84 years for OSHA to inspect each workplace in the U.S. once.”
Ultimately, it has to come down to every and every workplace doing their part in helping reduce fatalities and injuries, not OSHA alone.