What Is the Most Common Accident in Construction?

By Peter DePaolis

Minor accidents happen almost constantly on construction sites, like bruises, scrapes, and hitting one’s thumb with a hammer. Instead of dealing with everyday wounds, let’s focus on the top four construction hazards that lead to fatalities. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says that the four most common fatal accidents in the construction industry are falls from a height, struck-by, caught-in/between, and electrocution.  

A Maryland personal injury attorney could help you go after money damages from the party whose negligence caused the accident if you got hurt or a close relative died from a construction accident. Let’s explore what is the most common accident in construction in terms of severe wounds. 

Falls from a Height

Construction work frequently involves working at heights well above the ground level. Whether working on a ladder or scaffolding, an elevator shaft, or the roof, one misstep and a worker go tumbling to the ground. Falls from a height can be lethal because of the great force the body experiences upon impact after falling a great distance.

OSHA urges construction workers to use personal fall arrest equipment at all times when working at a height. Fall arrest equipment could prevent a career-ending or deadly accident. The use of perimeter protection is another way to make the workplace safe. It is important to maintain perimeter protection as changes happen on the job site.

 If there are floor openings, they should be covered and secured. Also, the covers of floor openings should be labeled as such to prevent people from inadvertently stepping on them and falling through. 

Struck-By Injuries

This type of accident happens when a worker gets hit by equipment, a vehicle, or a moving object. It is essential to leave yourself an escape route if there are moving objects in the area. You do not want to get trapped by a fixed object if a moving object is traveling in your direction.

Be sure to wear high-visibility clothing when working in an area where there are vehicles, moving objects, or equipment. Often, a person gets struck because another person did not see them. 

Caught-In/Between Accidents

If the worksite has unprotected trenches or excavations, that should be considered a construction hazard. Any trench that is 5 feet or deeper must have a protective system that will adequately prevent cave-ins or collapses. Depending on the situation, it might be appropriate to use a sloping, benching, shoring, or trench shield protective system. 


Construction sites often involve power lines, tools, and equipment. All utilities should be located and marked before starting work. When operating equipment, be sure to check for power lines that could be overhead. Find out the required safe distance requirements from power lines for your job site.

Portable electric tools should only be used on the job site if they are grounded or double insulated. When appropriate, workers will want to shut off the power to a location. Ground fault circuit interrupters can be useful safety devices. Finally, when working on a ladder, platform, or scaffolding, workers will want to be aware of any electrical hazards.  Sometimes, despite our best efforts, people will get injured or killed working on construction sites. A Maryland personal injury attorney can help you or your family go after compensation for severe or fatal construction workplace accidents. Contact our office today for help with your case, we offer a free consultation.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.