OSHA previously identified the four most dangerous job sitehazards for construction workers and they are falls, electrocutions, being struck by objects and being caught in/between hazards. These "Fatal Four"� were responsible for 58% of all fatalities on construction sites in 2014.
For this blog post, we'd like to zero in on struck-by injuries, which include objects that are falling, flying, swinging or rolling. In any of these scenarios, a worker is stripped of their ability to see these objects coming towards them with enough time to react and move out of the way. Struck-by injuries are the second highest cause of fatalities among construction workers.
We've broke down struck-by hazards into their four respective categories below -- each detailing sample scenarios of how these struck-by injuries occur and advice on how to prevent them from happening on your construction site or facility.
1) Struck-By Flying Object Hazards
Flying object hazards exist when something has been hurled, thrown or is being propelled across space. It can include instances when a piece of material separates from a tool, machine or other equipment, striking a worker, resulting in injury or fatality.
Inspect power tools to insure protective guards are in good condition
Steer clear of the line-of-sight when a nail gun is being used
2) Struck-By Falling Object Hazards
Falling hazards include falling from an elevation to a lower level or being struck by a falling object or equipment. This can cause the injured person to be crushed, pinned or caught under a falling object.
Tools/materials knocked off unprotected edges
Suspended load coming loose
Avoid areas where work is being performed above
Secure tools and materials using toeboards, screens and debris nets
Do not exceed lifting capacity of cranes and hoists
When materials are mechnically lifted they have the potential to swing and strike workers. As the load is lifted, the material may swing, twist or turn and the movement can catch workers by surprise. They can be hit by the swinging load and may also fall to another level after being struck.
Materials being lifted and the load sways
Worker inside the radius of a crane
Never position yourself under a suspended load
Stay well outside the swing radius
Verify that the heavy equipment operator sees you
4) Struck-By Rolling Object Hazards
Struck-by rolling object is when an object which is rolling, moving, or sliding hits a worker. This includes instances in which a worker is struck or run over by a moving vehilcle or instances where a worker is struck-by sliding object or equipment.
Vehicle or heavy equipment while in motion
Any object that rolls, moves or slides on same level as worker
Steer clear of vehicles and heavy equipment in use
Train operators of heavy equipment
Stack materials of same size to prevent sliding, falling or collapse
Struck-by hazards are an unfortunate reality on construction sites today. It is important to follow the steps outlined above while performing the proper training and providing the right equipment for your employees.
Beyond these efforts you should also ensure your facility is compliant with federal and state regulations. Schedule a site assessment today to make sure you are in compliance and that your facility is safe.