Construction is among the most dangerous jobs in the US. According to Forbes, the construction industry averages 2.4 non-fatal injuries for every 100 full-time workers and 23 fatal injuries for every 100,000 full-time workers.

The four leading accidents resulting in severe injury and death on construction sites are so common that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has specific training programs dedicated to them. Often called the “Fatal Four,” these injuries include falls, struck-bys, caught-in/betweens, and electrocutions.

Fall Accidents

According to OSHA, falls are the leading cause of death on construction sites. And even if a fall doesn’t kill you, it can leave you with serious, sometimes life-changing injuries. Luckily, there are a few ways you can protect yourself from fall accidents:

  • Personal Fall Arrest Equipment – Wearing and using personal fall arrest equipment can prevent you from falling by connecting you to a secure anchor point.
  • Perimeter Protection – Using railings and other barriers around edges high above the ground can prevent most falls.
  • Floor Opening Covers – Covering, blocking off, and putting proper signage near openings in floors can prevent workers from falling into them.
  • Scaffolding Safety – Assembling and using scaffolding correctly, like adhering to weight limits, can prevent falls and collapses from happening.

Struck-By Accidents

Struck-by accidents happen when a moving vehicle on a construction site hits a worker. These accidents often involve workers who are directing vehicles that are backing up. When doing this, always stand off to the side and never between the moving vehicle and another object.

Wearing high-visibility clothing will also make vehicle operators more likely to see and avoid you, especially in low-light environments like nighttime highway construction. During roadway construction, this clothing is even more critical, so motorists who may be driving by can see you and slow down.

Caught-In/Between Accidents

A caught-in/between accident occurs when a worker is trapped within a confined space. A common example of this type of accident is when a trench collapses on a worker.

To prevent collapses, make sure all trenches at least five feet deep have some sort of protection system in place. Trench walls should also be sloped, shored, benched, or have shield systems installed.

Once a trench collapses, if proper safety systems aren’t in place, it can be difficult to extract the trapped worker(s) before the weight of the dirt and mud crushes them. For this reason, it’s recommended that even trenches fewer than five feet deep have safety systems.


Electrocutions are extremely dangerous accidents because of the internal damage they can cause. After an electrocution event, you might not see obvious signs of injury. However, the current could have done severe damage to your heart and other organs, so it’s always good to get checked by a medical professional.

Before beginning construction, locate and turn off the utilities if possible. When working near overhead power lines, keep their position in mind while operating machinery and stay clear. And don’t use electric tools that aren’t grounded or double-insulated.

Finally, if there’s a water source within the construction zone, exercise extra caution when working near it in case it conducts an electrical current.

Contact Our Construction Accident Lawyers in Walnut Creek

Have you been injured in a construction accident in Walnut Creek, California? If so, contact the experienced construction accident attorneys at Casper, Meadows, Schwartz, & Cook for a free consultation. We’ll evaluate your case, answer your questions, and explain your rights and legal options.