OSHA Fatality Investigations on the Rise

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, it conducted its highest number of fatality investigations in more than a decade in the fiscal year 2018. This is despite the fact that investigations overall are down 1.2%. In the fiscal year 2018, OSHA conducted 941 fatality/catastrophe investigations, which is a 12.4% increase over the fiscal year 2017.

No explanation has been offered for why there has been an increase in fatality investigations, but workplace deaths are not uncommon. In 2017, there were 4.674 worker fatalities. More than 20% of these fatalities were in construction. Most of these fatalities were the result of falls. OSHA attributes the majority of worker deaths to the “fatal four,” which include:


Falls account for almost 40% of deaths in construction accidents. Falls on construction sites and in other industries are entirely preventable. Owners and employers have an obligation to provide safe working conditions, and this includes adequate fall protection. Falls from ladders, scaffolding, holes in roofing, and slip and falls on surfaces can all result in fatal injuries.

Struck by an Object

Workers being struck by an object accounted for close to 9% of all construction industry fatalities. Most often, being struck by an object means being hit from above by something falling from a height. Objects such as tools, equipment, and materials can all cause serious injuries. In addition, a motor vehicle fatality may also be considered as being struck by an object.


Electrocution accounted for 7.2% of worker fatalities. Construction workers often work with or near live wires which present a risk of severe shock and electrocution. Owners and employers need to provide a safe place and appropriate precautions so that workers can avoid electrocution.

Caught In Between Objects

About 5% of worker fatalities were the result of workers being caught in between objects. This includes being pinned by equipment, objects, falling structures, or materials. Caught in-between accidents are easily preventable with the use of adequate safety procedures and techniques.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

If you’ve been injured in a construction accident, you may want an experienced construction accident attorney on your side. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping New Yorkers injured in accidents. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.