Four common types of hazards largely contribute to the occurrence of workplace struck-by accidents. Cited as one of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s fatal four for construction workers, struck-by accidents accounted for 112 work-related deaths in 2018, and many more suffered serious injuries as a result of such on-the-job incidents.
What are Struck-By Hazards?
Struck-by hazards include those circumstances which may result in workers coming into forcible contact with objects or equipment on the job site. Some of the most common struck-by hazards include rolling objects, collapsing structures, falling or flying objects, and swinging objects. Due to the impact sustained by such contact, workers may suffer injuries such as punctures, lacerations, broken bones, and crushing trauma.
1. Rolling Objects
The weight and force of rolling objects, including vehicles and heavy equipment, may cause severe injuries should they hit workers. To help avoid such accidents and the resulting serious or catastrophic injuries, workers should pay attention to the others in the area when operating vehicles or heavy equipment and staying alert if working in areas where such machinery is in use.
2. Collapsing Structures
Workers may get struck by falling debris due to structure collapses occurring during construction or while working in buildings in need of repair. While on the job, workers may help prevent such injuries by ensuring structures can bear the weight before applying loads and using automatic holding devices for added support.
3. Falling and Flying Objects
Other workers often perform overhead work on construction sites, placing those working below them at risk for getting hit by falling or flying objects. Those working on elevated surfaces may drop items, or the equipment they use may cause objects to become airborne. Workers may protect against the possibility for head trauma or other injuries that may result from such occupational hazards by wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment, using the correct protective measures, and limiting their work in areas while others work overhead whenever possible.
4. Swinging Objects
Materials may swing, twist, or turn while on mechanical lifts, potentially striking workers and causing serious occupational injuries. Workers may suffer injuries due to the initial impact, and in some cases may get thrown or fall as a result, which may cause them additional harm. Staying alert while working in areas where such devices are in use may help workers protect themselves.