Struck-by hazards are one of the most lethal construction-site accidents, second only to falls. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012, 79 construction workers were killed after being struck or hit by an object in a construction zone. Here’s some important information about struck-by hazards.
Struck-by accidents occur when a construction worker is hit by a falling, flying, swinging or slipping object. Such accidents are most likely to occur when a construction worker is walking or working below an elevated surface, such as a scaffold, or when materials are being moved overhead.
Many construction workers are victims of struck-by accidents through no fault of their own but instead by the actions of another person. In order for everyone working in or around a construction zone to be as safe as possible, certain guidelines must be strictly adhered to by all workers in that zone.
Here are some important reminders for all construction workers regarding struck-by hazards:
- Always keep a safe distance from suspended loads.
- Flying objects can be created by power tools or any job that requires pushing, pulling, or prying. Grinding or striking materials can also create hazards.
- Flying objects aren’t just large objects. When air is pressurized above 30 psi it can drive particles and oils through skin. Safety glasses, googles, or face shields are a necessity in such situations.
- Loads should always be secured and lifted evenly to avoid slipping.
- Never exceed the lifting capacity of cranes and hoists.
- Hard hats need to be worn at all times.
- Tools and materials need to be secured so as not to fall from above.
- Never walk or work under loads that are being lifted and always stay out of the swing zone.
- When working near heavy equipment, make sure operators can see you.
- In traffic zones, always make sure that there are barricades separating the construction site from motor vehicle traffic.
Of all the safety measures employers need to take to keep construction workers safe from struck-by hazards, regular safety training is one of the most important. After all, keeping workers safe from any hazard is a group effort. If just one person doesn’t comply with safety regulations, it can put everyone else at risk. Safety training is a great way to keep workers safe and make sure they comply with all state and federal safety regulations.