(Part II) (2 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Struck-By Hazards

Trench digging-OSHA

How can I protect myself from struck-by hazards?

A. Heavy equipment [cranes, excavators, etc.]

  • Stay away from heavy equipment when it’s operating – In fact, be alert to the location of all heavy equipment whether in use or not
  • Stay clear of lifted loads and never work under a suspended load
  • Beware of unbalanced loads
  • Workers should confirm and receive acknowledgement from the heavy equipment operator that they are visible
  • Be aware of the swing radius of cranes and backhoes and do not enter that zone
  • Drive equipment [or vehicles] on grades or roadways that are safely constructed and maintained
  • Make sure that all workers and other personnel are in the clear before using dumping or lifting devices
  • Lower or block bulldozer and scraper blades, end-loader buckets, dump bodies, etc., when not in use, and leave all controls in neutral position.
  • Haulage vehicles that are loaded by cranes, power shovels, loaders etc., must have a cab shield or canopy that protects the driver from falling materials Do not exceed a vehicle’s rated load or lift capacity
  • Do not carry personnel unless there is a safe place to ride

B. Motor vehicles [trucks, cars, etc.]

Vehicle safety practices must be observed at construction sites to limit worker exposure to struck-by hazards such as struck-by swinging backhoes, struck-by falling/overturning vehicles, and struck-by trucks or cars.

To avoid these types of hazards, workers should:

  • Wear seat belts when provided
  • Check vehicles before each shift to assure that all parts and accessories are in safe operating condition
  • Do not drive a vehicle in reverse gear with an obstructed rear view, unless it has an audible reverse alarm, or another worker signals that it is safe
  • Set parking brakes when vehicles and equipment are parked, and chock the wheels if they are on an incline
  • All vehicles must have adequate braking systems and other safety devices
  • Use traffic signs, barricades or flaggers when construction takes place near public roadways
  • Workers must be highly visible in all levels of light. Warning clothing, such as red or orange vests, are required; and if worn for night work, must be of reflective material

When working on or near any construction zone:

  • Wear high-visibility reflective clothing
  • Do not put yourself at risk of being struck by a vehicle and do not get caught in a situation where there’s no escape route
  • Do not direct traffic unless you are the flagger. Flaggers and other workers on foot are at greater risk of exposure to being struck; therefore, they must be visible by both motorists and equipment operators.
  • Check that necessary warning signs are posted
  • Never cross the path of a backing vehicle. If the equipment doesn’t have reverse signal alarm loud enough to be heard against the surrounding noise level, the employer will designate a worker to signal when it’s safe to back up when the operator has an obstructed view to the rear.
  • Follow “Exit” and “Entry” worksite traffic plan

C. General safe work practices

  • When working with compressed air: Reduce air pressure to 30 psi if used for cleaning, and use only with appropriate guarding and proper protective equipment; and Never clean clothing with compressed air
  • When working with hand tools: Do not use tools with loose, cracked or splintered handles; and Do not use impact tools with mushroomed heads
  • When working with machines, such as jack hammers, pavement saws: Be sure to be trained on safe operation of machinery. Inspect machinery; Ensure all guards are in place and in working order; and Protect feet, eyes, ears and hands; wear hearing protection
  • When performing overhead work: Secure all tools and materials; Use toe boards, screens, guardrails and debris nets. Barricade the area and post signs; and Be sure materials stored in buildings under construction are placed farther than 6 feet of hoist way / floor openings, and more than 10 feet from an exterior wall
  • When working with powder-actuated tools: Be sure to be trained and licensed to operate these tools if required
  • When working with power tools, such as saws, drills, grinders: Be sure to be trained on how to safely use the power tool. Inspect tool(s) before each use; Wear safety goggles; Operate according to manufacturer’s instructions; and Ensure that all required guards are in place
  • When pushing or pulling objects that may become airborne: Stack and secure materials to prevent sliding, falling or collapse; Keep work areas clear; and Secure material against wind gusts

D. Personal protective equipment (PPE)

  • Eye and face protection: Use based on anticipated hazards. Safety glasses or goggles should be worn any time work operations present an eye hazard – for example, during welding, cutting, grinding, nailing (or when working with concrete and/or harmful chemicals or when exposed to flying particles)
  • Head protection: Wear hard hats where there is a potential for objects falling from above, bumps to the head from fixed objects. Routinely inspect hard hats for dents, cracks or deterioration; replace after a heavy blow; maintain in good condition.

Also Read:

(Part III) (1 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Caught–In or –Between Hazards

(Part III) (2 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Caught–In or –Between Hazards

(Part IV) (1 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Electrocution Hazards

(Part IV) (2 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Electrocution Hazards

(Part II) (1 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Struck-By Hazards

(Part I) (1 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Fall Hazards

(Part I) (2 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Fall Hazards

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