Struck-by injuries are produced by forced impact between the injured person and an object or a piece of equipment.
In a construction site struck-by hazards can manifest in a variety of ways such as rolling objects and falling objects. Rolling object hazard exists when the worker is struck-by a sliding object (or equipment) or run over by a moving vehicle, whereas falling object hazard exists when the source of injury falls from a height to a lower level.
Flying objects and swinging loads are also commonly observed struck-by hazards in many construction sites. Flying object hazards may include instances when a piece of material, separated from a tool, machine or other equipment, strikes a worker resulting in injuries or fatality.
Moreover, stored energy such as compressed air (commonly used to power tools and clean surfaces) can also cause serious flying object hazards.
When materials are mechanically lifted, they have the potential to swing and strike workers as well as visitors standing nearby. This movement can catch workers and bystanders by surprise and they could be hit by the swinging load. In addition to swinging, the lifted loads can also slip from their riggings and accidentally strike the workers.
One of the key protection measures to avoid struck-by hazards in construction sites is to stay away from heavy equipment when it is operating. In fact, be alert around all heavy equipment whether in use or not.
Workers should stay clear of lifted or unbalanced loads and never work under a suspended load. Workers should be properly communicated and made aware of the swing radius of cranes and backhoe loaders. Make sure that all workers and visitors are in the clear before operating dumping or lifting devices.
Vehicle safety practices must be carefully observed at construction sites to limit worker exposure to struck-by swinging backhoes, overturning vehicles, and trucks, etc. To avoid these types of hazards at construction zones, workers must wear high-visibility reflective clothing and must avoid getting caught in a situation where there’s no escape route.
On the other hand, operators and drivers should wear seat belts and routinely check vehicles before each shift to ensure all parts and accessories are in safe operating condition.
Every construction site worker as well as visitor must wear safety helmets to protect from falling objects as well as bumps to the head from fixed objects. When working with compressed air for cleaning, as part of general safe work practices, workers should use appropriate guarding, proper protective equipment and reduce air pressure to 30 psi. Adequate attention must be given to follow proper work procedure while working with hand tools, machinery and power tools. Eye and face protections must be used based on anticipated hazards such as welding, cutting, grinding, exposure to harmful chemicals and flying particles.