This blog was inspired by OSHA’s Focus Four campaign.
Next up in the OSHA Focus Four Series is the third major hazard facing the construction industry, struck-by incidents. In 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that contact with objects and equipment accounted for 17% of the fatal work injuries, and of that 17%, ‘struck-by object’ accounted for 10%. Additionally, the struck-by death and injury count was 28% of total crane-related deaths in 2008. As mentioned last week, OSHA defines struck-by hazards as injuries that result from the impact alone and are categorized by the type of object causing the injury. These categories include struck-by flying object, struck-by falling object, struck-by swinging object, and stuck-by rolling object.
There are a multitude of things that workers can do to ensure their safety on site to prevent struck-by incidents from occurring. For example, workers should ensure that they are aware of and safely operating heavy equipment and motor vehicles, abide by general safe work practices, and wearing personal protective equipment. Staying clear of moving equipment, unbalanced loads, or dangerous roadways could significantly reduce the risk of struck-by hazards. Similarly, making sure that equipment is being used properly by following safety procedures, being aware of others on site while operating, and properly using heavy equipment is an important prevention method. Additionally, workers should take care when operating motor vehicles by wearing seatbelts, using safety devices of the vehicle, and wearing highly visible and reflective clothing. Finally, abiding by general safe work practices and wearing PPE helps to increase the safety of workers through proper safety measures and protective wear.
According to OSHA, employers are required to ensure the safety and security of heavy equipment and motor vehicles, abide by general requirements for protecting workers, and provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and proper training.
In regard to training, OSHA provides resources to instructors and students to learn how to prevent caught-in or between hazards and institute proper safety measures on site:
- Struck-By Hazard Instructor Guide
- Focus Four Toolbox Talks
- Four Fatal Facts Accident Summary Report
- Other Handouts
For more information and training resources, go here.