Tag Archives: Safety

Struck-by Hazards: What Could Go Wrong?

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.

Fall Hazards: What Could Go Wrong?

Fall hazards are present in most of the construction sites and many workers are exposed to these hazards on a daily basis.

A fall hazard is anything at your worksite that could cause you to lose your balance and result in a fall.

Although any walking or working surface can be a potential fall hazard, most common fall hazards in construction are related to unprotected edges, openings, scaffolds and ladders.

Almost all worksites have unprotected sides and edges, wall openings, or floor holes at some point during construction. If these sides and openings are not protected, injuries from falls or falling objects may result in severe injuries.

Besides, in the absence of fall protection or safe access to work front, it is even riskier to work on a scaffold with heavy equipment, building materials and within very limited space. Therefore, majority of the workers injured in scaffold accidents attribute the accident to factors such as the planking and support giving way, or to the lack of guardrails and other fall protection.

However ordinary it may sound, falls from ladders can also cause deadly injuries.

It has been noticed that the factors contributing to falls from ladders are mainly improper ladder selection for a given task, ladder slips (top or bottom supports), overreaching workers, slipping on rungs/steps, not having a portable ladder extended 3 feet above the landing surface and not to mention the lack of adequate training for workers at worksites.

Guardrails, safety net systems and personal fall arrest system are three generally acceptable methods of protection for workers who are exposed to fall hazards in construction sites. In general, it is better to use fall prevention systems, such as guardrails, than fall protection systems, such as safety nets or fall arrest devices, because prevention is more proactive and efficient than having to protect.

There are many ways you can prevent a fall from a ladder in construction sites; starting with choosing the right kind of ladder for the job and tying the top and bottom of the ladder to prevent it from moving sideways or falling backwards.

Workers should strictly avoid carrying tools or other materials in-hand while climbing the ladder. Rather than carrying tools or other materials in your hands, use a tool belt, install a rope and pulley arrangements, or tie a rope around your materials and pull them up once you have reached the elevated work surface.

Top 10 Countries with Poor Air Quality: PM2.5 Exposure in 2019

Photo by Vitaly Vlasov on Pexels.com

PM2.5 particulate matter is 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller, and can only be seen through an electron microscope. PM2.5 is capable of entering the bloodstream via the lungs. These fine particles are produced from all types of combustion, including motor vehicles, coal-burning power plants, waste burning, residential wood burning, forest fires, agricultural burning, and some industrial processes.