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
    other equipment.
  • 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.

Swinging Objects

  • 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
    swinging load.
  • Windy conditions are especially
    hazardous because the load will swing
    more. In addition to swinging, loads can
    slip from their riggings and strike workers.

Rolling Objects

  • 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:

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