Being struck-by an object is one of the leading causes of fatalities in the construction industry today. In addition to workers taking precautions to avoid such accidents, employers have a responsibility to ensure critical safety practices are in place to protect workers from these potentially deadly risks.
There are common prevention methods employers should take in every workplace, particularly where there is the potential for being struck and injured.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the United States Department of Labor (DOL) provides regulations and guidance for workplace safety. OSHA publishes standards for each of the construction areas, and employers are required to familiarize themselves with and adhere to the most up-to-date regulations for their area of practice.
An employer’s failure to ensure a strong safety culture in the workplace is not just a legal violation, but can result in serious struck-by injury accidents and deaths.
When accidents happen that result in injury, employees should consult an experienced Philadelphia workplace injury lawyer for guidance on addressing their claim and getting the medical care and other benefits they are entitled to for a workplace accident.
These types of accidents typically fall into three general categories:
Workers operating around moving dump trucks, forklifts, cranes, and other similar equipment should be trained and familiar with basic safety practices. Injuries can range from serious to fatal, such as being pinned between or underneath heavy equipment and being struck-by moving vehicle parts.
The workplace should ensure that equipment is regularly inspected and maintained. Further, basic steps need to be taken to prevent rolling, such as using a parking brake and chocking vehicle wheels on inclines.
Personnel should be cleared out of the area anytime a vehicle operates in reverse, both by an audible backup alarm and another employee, to prevent obstructed view accidents that can impact an unprotected worker.
The vehicle’s rated load or lift capacity should never be exceeded.
Sliding and falling objects represent another workplace hazard that can be reduced with stringent training and adherence to best practices. Practices include maintaining restricted areas below operating equipment and stacked items, as well as requiring hard hats and other personal protective equipment (PPE).
Masonry walls – those which consist of concrete and other heavy blocks and slabs – pose a significant injury or fatality hazard due to the heavy weights involved. Only necessary trained personnel should be permitted in the area. Like other hazardous areas, only the rated load of the equipment should be used.
Using required shoring and supporting techniques for the load involved must be strictly adhered to while the permanent wall support system is being constructed.
The Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP advocate for clients injured on the job, and assist in filing Workers’ Compensation claims to secure the needed medical treatment and lost wage compensation they deserve. We serve clients in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania. Please complete our online contact form or call 267-589-0090 for a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your case.