Williams Scotsman

4 Common Workplace Accidents to Avoid

We believe that 100% of construction site accidents are avoidable, and understanding the causes of common workplace casualties is a good start to preventing injury and harm in the workplace. 

The 4 most common causes of workplace fatalities:

  • 1. Fall from Heights – 39.2%
  • 2. Struck by Objects – 8.2%
  • 3. Electrocution – 7.3%
  • 4. Caught between – 5.1%

IOSHA launched the FOCUS FOUR, a program designed to raise awareness regarding the leading causes of construction site fatalities.

Preventing incidents is more likely when we understand the cause, recognize the hazards, and establish a low risk tolerance. Remember Hazard Recognition does NOT equal Risk Tolerance — one may recognize the hazard but disregard the risk.

Here are are some root-cause factors that commonly result in these four incidents.

Causes of Fall-Related Incidents

  • Unprotected sides, edges and holes
  • Improperly constructed walking/working Surfaces
  • Improper use of access equipment
  • Failure to properly use personal fall arrest systems (PFAS)
  • Slips and trips (housekeeping related incidents)

Causes of Struck-by Incidents

  • Falling objects
  • Rigging failure
  • Loose or shifting materials
  • Equipment tip-over or malfunction
  • Lack of overhead protection
  • Vehicle and equipment strikes
  • Backing incidents
  • Flying objects

Causes of Electrocution Incidents

  • Contact with overhead power lines
  • Contact with live circuits
  • Not following lock out/tag out (LOTO) procedures
  • Poorly maintained extension cords and tools
  • Defective power tools

Causes of Caught-in-Between Incidents

  • Trench/excavation collapse
  • Rotating equipment
  • Unguarded parts
  • Equipment rollovers
  • Equipment maintenance

As you prepare for your next project, we encourage you to consider these violations and the consequences that follow the safety of your workers and your bottom line.

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