In 2018 “struck by” was the leading cause of worker fatalities in Michigan. As of today, “struck by” accounts for 5 of the 7 Michigan worker fatalities in 2019.
Common struck by hazards in construction:
- Struck by flying object: Flying object hazards exist when something has been thrown, hurled or propelled. It can include instances when a piece of material separates from a tool, machine or other equipment, striking a worker resulting in injury or fatality. A hazard also exists if an object is ejected under power by a tool or equipment usually designed for that purpose such as a nail from a nail gun. Powder-actuated tools are particularly hazardous due to the force behind the fastener. These fasteners are designed to go through wood, concrete and steel which means they can certainly go through a worker.
- Struck by falling object: When the source of injury is falling from an elevation to a lower level, including instances where the injured person is crushed, pinned or caught under a falling object, other than collapsing material or structures, resulting from being struck by a falling object or equipment.
- Struck by swinging object: When materials are mechanically lifted, they have the potential to swing and strike workers. As the load is lifted, the materials may swing, twist or turn. This movement can catch workers by surprise and they could be hit by the swinging load. Windy conditions are especially hazardous because the load will swing more. Depending on where the worker is standing and the force behind the load, the worker may fall to another level after being struck and sustain even greater injuries. In addition to swinging, loads can slip from their riggings and strike workers. Loads must be rigged properly to prevent slippage.
- Struck by rolling object: When an object which is rolling, moving or sliding on the same level at which the worker is located. Includes instances in which the worker is struck or run over by a moving vehicle without being caught under it or instances in which the worker is struck by a sliding object or equipment on the same level.
Awareness of your surroundings and proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) can go a long way in avoiding injuries at a construction site. It is important to alert all workers of areas where there is greater potential for struck-by accidents to occur and to limit employee access to those areas.
Protection against struck by hazards:
- Stay away from heavy equipment when it is operating
- Wear high-visibility reflective clothing and all required PPE
- Do not use tools with loose, cracked or splintered handles
- Secure all tools and materials
- Be sure to be trained on safe operation of machinery
- Keep work areas clear
At Lee Contracting, we use mobile and overhead cranes daily. Our employees never walk underneath any suspended loads, always wear a hard hat while in the presence of overhead work and are always aware of their surroundings. If we ever perform unusual work or work outside the normal scope on a project, our Safety Department will survey the work area with the Project Manager and an Owner’s representative as necessary, to determine any special hazards or exposures.
We are proud to have the opportunity to continue serving our customers locally and nationwide. Learn more about our safety culture today.
Schedule your conversation with us by calling (888) 833-8776 or fill out our online form.