The top four causes of construction fatalities are:
Prevent Falls (33% of all fatalities)
- Identify all potential tripping and fall hazards before work starts.
- Look for fall hazards such as unprotected floor openings/edges, shafts, skylights, stairwells, and roof openings/edges.
- Inspect fall protection equipment for defects before use.
- Select, wear, and use fall protection equipment appropriate for the task.
- Secure and stabilize all ladders before climbing them.
- Never stand on the top rung/step of a ladder.
- Use handrails when you go up or down stairs.
- Practice good housekeeping.
- Keep cords, welding leads and air hoses out of walkways or adjacent work areas.
Prevent Struck-By (20% of all fatalities)
- Never position yourself between moving and fixed objects.
- Wear high-visibility clothes near equipment/vehicles.
Prevent Caught-In/Between (18% of all fatalities)
- Never enter an unprotected trench or excavation 5 feet or deeper without an adequate protective system in place; some trenches under 5 feet deep may also need such a system.
- Make sure the trench or excavation is protected either by sloping, shoring, benching or trench shield systems.
Prevent Electrocutions (17% of all fatalities)
- Assume that all overhead wires are energized at lethal voltages. Never assume that a wire is safe to touch even if it is down or appears to be insulated.
- Never touch a fallen overhead power line. Call the electric utility company to report fallen electrical lines.
- Stay at least 10 feet (3 meters) away from overhead wires during cleanup and other activities. If working at heights or handling long objects, survey the area before starting work for the presence of overhead wires.
- If an overhead wire falls across your vehicle while you are driving, stay inside the vehicle and continue to drive away from the line. If the engine stalls, do not leave your vehicle. Warn people not to touch the vehicle or the wire. Call or ask someone to call the local electric utility company and emergency services.
- Never operate electrical equipment while you are standing in water.
- Never repair electrical cords or equipment unless qualified and authorized.
- Have a qualified electrician inspect electrical equipment that has gotten wet before energizing it.
- If working in damp locations, inspect electric cords and equipment to ensure that they are in good condition and free of defects, and use a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).