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.
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Aerial lifts are vehicle-mounted, boom-supported aerial platforms, such as scissor lists or bucket trucks, used to access utility lines and other above ground job sites. The major causes of fatalities are falls, electrocutions, and collapses or tip overs. Employers must take measurements to ensure the safe use of aerial lifts. At Lee Contracting, our employees are trained from day one to ensure safety on all job sites.
Lee Contracting’s aerial lift safety procedure includes:
• Aerial lifts may be “field modified” for uses other than those intended by the manufacturer provided the modification has been certified in writing by the manufacturer or by an equivalent entity.
• Lift controls shall be tested each day prior to use to determine that such controls are in safe working conditions. Tests shall be made at the beginning of each shift during which the equipment is to be used to determine that the brakes and operating systems are in proper working condition.
• Only authorized persons shall operate an aerial lift and boom and basket load limits specified by the manufacturer shall not be exceeded.
• Aerial lifts shall have a working back-up alarm audible above the surrounding noise level or the vehicle is back up only when an observer (spotter) signals that it is safe to do so.
• The minimum clearance between electrical lines and any part of the equipment (i.e. crane or load) shall be 20 feet for lines rated 50 kV or below.
• Employees shall always stand firmly on the floor of the basket and shall not sit or climb on the edge of the basket or use planks, ladders, or other devices for a work position.
• An approved fall restraint system shall be worn when working from an aerial lift. The fall restraint system must be attached to the boom or basket. An approved fall restraint system shall be attached to the boom or basket when working from an aerial lift and it is not permitted to be attached to adjacent poles or structures.
• All employees who operate an aerial lift device shall be trained in the safe operation of the specific device they will operate. Training must conform to all OSHA requirements.
Safe aerial lift operation requirements per OSHA:
• Complete the required training prior to operating any equipment.
• Be aware of and remove any hazards, including overhead hazards.
• Prior to each work shift, conduct a pre-start inspection to ensure safe use of the equipment.
• Prior to each work shift, conduct a work zone inspection to assure the area is eliminated of all hazards.
• Follow all fall protection requirements learned in training.
• Always confirm stability of the work zone by using outriggers, brakes, chocks, along with cones and signs to warn others.
Our skilled tradespeople are trained since day one to put safety first. We pride ourselves on safe operation of all equipment and getting all employees home safe. Learn more about our safety department today.
Receive your free quote today by calling (888) 833-8776 or filling out our web form.