Being struck by an object is one of the leading causes of death and serious injury on construction sites. It has been designated by OSHA as one of the “Fatal Four” types of accidents. One in five workplace fatalities occur in the construction industry and Fatal Four accidents account for more than 50 percent of all construction worker deaths. Struck by hazards include moving vehicles, such as cranes and backhoes, falling tools or flying debris ejected from power tools, and the construction of masonry walls.
Performing tasks around and using heavy equipment and vehicles puts workers at risk of being struck and injured. Some common causes of struck-by accidents involving vehicles include:
Sources of potential falling or flying objects on a construction site include:
It is important that cranes be properly maintained. No one should be working underneath a suspended load. The work area should be clearly barricaded and workers should be aware of the swing radius of the crane. All components of the crane’s construction should be inspected regularly and load limits set by the manufacturer should be observed.
The construction of concrete and masonry walls is particularly hazardous because of the immense loads these walls must bear. Struck by accidents occur during this type of construction when:
Workers involved in a struck-by accident typically suffer severe injuries that can range from lacerations and broken bones to head and neck injuries and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Debris ejected from power tools can cause puncture wounds including eye injuries. Powder-actuated tools are so powerful that their operators must be trained and licensed.
There are many steps employers can take to prevent struck-by accidents in the workplace. The first step should be providing training for workers in the safe operation of tools and machinery. Personal protective equipment such as hard hats and goggles must be provided when necessary and they should be regularly inspected for wear and tear. All machinery, tools, and vehicles in use should also be maintained and inspected for parts that are loose or worn. Other actions that prevent struck-by accidents include:
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by defective tools or equipment, contact a Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyer of Gross & Kenny, LLP, to discuss your legal options. Schedule a free consultation by completing our online form or calling our Center City offices at 267-589-0090.