Struck-by hazards led to 93 construction worker deaths in 2016. By identifying these hazards, and understanding how they happen, we can take steps to protect ourselves.
According to OSHA, Struck-by Hazards are defined as injuries produced by forcible
contact or impact between the injured person and an object or piece of equipment.
Types of Situations and What to Be Aware Of
Flying / Falling Objects
- Flying object hazards include
instances when a piece of material
separates from a tool, machine, or
- Falling objects from an elevation to a
lower level, include instances where
the injured person is crushed, pinned,
or caught under a falling object, other
than collapsing material or structures.
- When materials are mechanically lifted,
they have potential to swing, twist, or
turn. This movement can catch workers
by surprise and they could be hit by the
- Windy conditions are especially
hazardous because the load will swing
more. In addition to swinging, loads can
slip from their riggings and strike workers.
- An object which is rolling, moving, or
sliding on the same level at which the
worker is located poses a great risk.
- This includes being 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.
How to protect yourself:
- Use the proper PPE.
- Ensure tools are in proper working order, with
no loose attachments.
- Only use machinery that is properly guarded.
- Make sure that powder actuated fastener tools
have proper backing.
- Set up barriers to deflect flying particles.
- Never use compressed air to clean or blow
- Use toe boards to prevent items from dropping
on workers below.
What is Your Employer’s Responsibility?
- Assess hazards that would affect the safe operation of hoisting equipment
such as, power lines, ground firmness and levelness. Remove personnel
that would be within the swing radius of items being hoisted.
- Erect barriers to mark the danger zone of a rotating equipment.
- Ensure that the equipment is in safe operating condition.
- Comply with all manufacturer procedures regarding equipment use, and
- Ensure loads are properly rigged by a qualified rigger.
- Ensure all equipment with obstructed view does not operate in reverse
gear unless the equipment has a reverse signal alarm or a worker has
been designated to signal when it is safe.
For more information and training on how to prevent the Focus Four Hazards, please visit: https://www.osha.gov/dte/outreach/construction/focus_four/index.html