June is National Safety Month, a campaign sponsored by the National Safety Council (NSC) to help raise awareness of occupational safety. Each week in June, Dawood examines the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) Focus Four Hazards: Falls, Caught-In or Between, Struck-By, and Electrocution.
This week, we highlight Struck-By incidents—defined as workers hit by any piece of equipment or an object falling, flying, swinging, or rolling (including motor vehicles).
Know the Risks
According to OSHA, approximately 75% of struck-by-object fatalities involve heavy equipment, such as trucks or cranes. Agriculture, construction, and manufacturing workers are at highest risk, while firefighters, police, and transportation and office workers and others also are susceptible.
According to Injury Facts, there are roughly 700 workplace fatalities due to struck-by-object incidents each year, and hundreds of thousands of injuries annually that involve days away from work. On average, struck-by-object incidents require workers to miss six days of work.
Keys to Keep You Safe
- Establish work zone barricades. Delineate walking paths; vehicle and equipment driving paths; and a safe perimeter to keep employees away from overhead operations, excavator, and crane swing radii, and lifting paths. Erecting barricades will keep workers from wandering into dangerous areas where they can be exposed to these types of hazards.
- Ensure necessary personal protection equipment (PPE) is worn by workers. Hard hats, safety glasses, and safety-toed footwear are standard PPE that employees must use when falling, flying, swinging, and rolling object hazards are present.
- Follow best practices. Store heavier objects as low to the ground as possible. Do not cross an equipment operator’s path without making your intentions clear first. Also securely store loose materials and use the bump test to check your work. Equipment (fork truck, excavator, and crane) loads should be carried close to the ground and controlled with non-conductive taglines.
Did you know the Focus Four Hazards account for 57% of construction industry fatalities? Learn more.