Construction Safety and OSHA’s Fatal Four – Avoiding Struck-By Hazards

In the world of construction, the federal safety enforcement body OSHA has identified the four most common types of fatal injuries on construction sites and nicknamed them the Fatal Four. The second most common type of construction injury, according to the Fatal Four list, are injuries known as struck-by injuries.  These are injuries caused by a worker being struck by an object or vehicle on a work site, and they account for one out of every ten construction fatalities. Construction companies need to be aware of what causes struck-by injuries, and they need to understand how to prevent these types of often fatal situations.

Worker lying on the group with a white helmet being helped by another worker.

Struck-by accidents are the second most fatal type of accident in the construction industry.

Four Types Of Struck-By Accidents

OSHA has been able to put the large majority of struck-by accidents into four categories.

  • Struck by a rolling object – For example, if a truck is not properly parked, then it could start to roll and hit a worker.
  • Struck by a flying object – For example, when a piece of concrete is struck by a jackhammer and flies through the air hitting a worker.
  • Struck by a falling object – For example, if someone carrying bricks on the third floor of a building drops a brick and it strikes someone on the second floor.
  • Struck by a swinging object – For example, when a crane is moving beams low to the ground, and the swinging beams strike a standing worker.

These accidents can involve power tools, large equipment, vehicles, handheld tools, and materials. The possibility of being unexpectedly struck by an object is just one reason why it is so important to always wear protective gear when on a job site.

Proper Safety Training Can Help Prevent Most Struck-By Accidents

One of the most common types of struck-by accidents is a worker being struck by a nail from a nail gun.  In these instances, the improper use of a nail gun can turn nails into missiles that could strike the eyes or pierce the skull of a worker. OSHA recognizes that there are three effective ways of preventing struck-by accidents.

  • Proper safety training on the use of all equipment
  • Doing routine maintenance on all equipment and replacing equipment that is no longer safe to use
  • Wearing protective clothing at all times when on a construction job site
Lumber warehouse.

Good training and job site awareness can prevent struck-by accidents.

Job Awareness Is Also Key

Situations where workers are struck by moving vehicles or workers walk into an area where they are struck by an object can be prevented. Every construction company should teach workers to be aware of where they are on a job site and be aware of what is going on around them.

If a worker does not need to be in an unfamiliar part of a job site, then they should not be there. Many struck-by accidents occur when a worker is on a break and lets their guard down in terms of the company’s safety rules. Safety training should remind workers that the safety rules apply at all times and that struck-by accidents do not take breaks.

If you want more information on the elements of job site safety, then start a course with PDH Contractors to brush up on the safety components of the contractor licensing tests in your area. You can also use the resources on PDH Contractors to stay up-to-date on the latest in construction technology and methods.

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