Monday, 15 February 2016

Struck-By Hazard

What Is A Struck-By Hazard?

A struck-by hazard is anything at your worksite that could produce injuries by forcible contact or impact between the injured person and an object or piece of equipment. Struck-by hazards fall into four categories:

·         Flying object
·         Falling object
·         Swinging object
·         Rolling object

What Are The Common Types Of Struck-by Hazards?

The following categories of struck-by hazards include examples of common types of hazards.

Struck-By Flying Object

 “A flying object hazard exists when something has been thrown, hurled, or is being propelled across space”.

Examples of struck-by flying object hazards:
·         A piece of material separates from a tool, machine, or other equipment and strikes a worker.
·         An object is ejected under power by a tool or equipment usually designed for that purpose, such as a nail from a nail gun.
·         Compressed air used to power tools or clean surfaces causes flying object hazards.

Struck-By Falling Object

Struck-by falling object hazards are those that involve objects falling from an elevation to a lower level. Injuries from these hazards include instances where the injured person is crushed, pinned, or caught under a falling object.

Examples of struck-by falling object hazards:
·         A worker is struck by a load, or parts of a load, that falls from a vehicle or other equipment
·         A crane boom, or other piece of equipment, breaks, collapses, and strikes a worker.
·         A section from a structure that is being cut apart falls and strikes a person

Struck-By Swinging Object

 Struck-by swinging object hazards usually exist when materials are being mechanically lifted. The load may swing, twist, or turn, especially when there are windy conditions.

Examples of struck-by swinging object hazards:
·         A worker is hit while working within the swing radius of a crane
·         While lifting a load, the boom of a crane collapses and strikes a worker
·         A gust of wind unexpectedly pushes a prefabricated wall while it was being lifted into position, causing it to strike a worker

Struck-By Rolling Object
Struck-by rolling object hazards exist when a worker is exposed to objects that are rolling, moving, or sliding on the same level at which the worker is located. This hazard includes instances involving moving vehicles or equipment.

Examples of struck-by rolling object hazards:
·         Worker is struck by an unmanned rail car
·         A road crew worker is struck by a vehicle
·         A mobile crane runs over a ground crew member

How Can I Protect Myself From Struck-By Hazards?

You can protect yourself from struck-by hazards by following safe practices, including those related to:
·         Heavy equipment [cranes, excavators]
·         Motor vehicles [trucks, cars]
·         General safe work practices
·         Personal Protective Equipment [PPE]

Heavy Equipment Safe practices for preventing struck-by injuries from heavy equipment:

·         Stay away from heavy equipment when it is operating – in fact, be alert to the location of all heavy equipment whether in use or not
·         Stay clear of lifted loads and never work under a suspended load
·         Beware of unbalanced loads
·         Workers should confirm and receive acknowledgement from the heavy equipment operator that they are visible
·         Be aware of the swing radius of cranes and backhoes and do not enter that zone
·         Drive equipment [or vehicles] on grades or roadways that are safely constructed and maintained
·         Make sure that all workers and other personnel are in the clear before using dumping or lifting devices
·         Lower or block bulldozer and scraper blades, end-loader buckets, dump bodies, etc., when not in use, and leave all controls in neutral position
·         Haulage vehicles that are loaded by cranes, power shovels, loaders, etc., must have a cab shield or canopy that protects the driver from falling materials
·         Do not exceed a vehicle’s rated load or lift capacity
·         Do not carry personnel unless there is a safe place to ride.

Motor Vehicles Safe practices for preventing struck-by injuries from vehicles at construction sites:
·         Wear seat belts when provided
·         Check vehicles before each shift to assure that all parts and accessories are in safe operating condition
·         Do not drive a vehicle in reverse gear with an obstructed rear view, unless it has an audible reverse alarm, or another worker signals that it is safe
·         Set parking brakes when vehicles and equipment are parked, and chock the wheels if they are on an incline
·         All vehicles must have adequate braking systems and other safety devices
·         Use traffic signs, barricades, or flaggers when construction takes place near public roadways
·         Workers must be highly visible in all levels of light. Warning clothing, such as red or orange vests, are required; and if worn for night work, must be of reflective material

When working on or near any construction zone:

·         Wear high-visibility reflective clothing
·         Do not put yourself at risk of being struck by a vehicle and do not get caught in a situation where there’s no escape route
·         Do not direct traffic unless you are the flagger
·         Check that necessary warning signs are posted
·         Never cross the path of a backing vehicle
·         Follow “Exit” and “Entry” worksite traffic plan

General Safe Working Practices

WSH provides the following general safe working practices for preventing struck-by injuries:

When working with compressed air: Reduce air pressure to 30 psi if used for cleaning, and use only with appropriate guarding and proper protective equipment; and, never clean clothing with compressed air

When working with hand tools: Do not use tools with loose, cracked, or splintered handles; and, do not use impact tools with mushroomed heads

When working with machines, such as jack hammers, pavement saws: Be sure to be trained on safe operation of machinery; inspect machinery; ensure all guards are in place and in working order; and protect feet, eyes, ears, and hands - wear hearing protection.

When performing overhead work: Secure all tools and materials; use toeboards, screens, guardrails, and debris nets; barricade the area and post signs; and, be sure materials stored in buildings under construction are placed farther than 6 feet of hoist way/floor openings, and more than 10 feet from an exterior wall

When working with powder-actuated tools: Be sure to be trained and licensed to operate these tools if required.

When working with power tools, such as saws, drills, or grinders: Be sure to be trained on how to safely use the power tool; inspect tool(s) before each use; wear safety goggles; operate according to manufacturer’s instructions; and, ensure that all required guards are in place

When pushing or pulling objects that may become airborne: Stack and secure materials to prevent sliding, falling, or collapse; keep work areas clear; and, secure material against wind gusts.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

WSH recommendations for PPE for workers exposed to struck-by hazards:

Eye and face protection:
·         Use based on anticipated hazards
·         Safety glasses or goggles should be worn any time work operations present an eye hazard – for example, during welding, cutting, grinding, nailing (or when working with concrete and/or harmful chemicals or when exposed to flying particles)

Head protection:
·         Wear hard hats where there is a potential for objects falling from above, bumps to the head from fixed objects
·         Hard hats – routinely inspect for dents, cracks, or deterioration; replace after a heavy blow; maintain in good condition

What is my employer required to do to protect workers from struck-by hazards?

Safety Regulation requires employers to protect workers from struck by hazards. Employers are required to:
·         Meet all heavy equipment, motor vehicle, and general requirements included in Safety  standards
·         Provide proper PPE
·         Provide required training

·         Ensure qualification of operator, rigger, signal person, and competent person

Post by Department of Safety & Health Training Institute

Friday, 5 February 2016



It is important for you to understand the difference between a fall arrest system and fall restraint system. These are most commonly used in the construction industry, but may apply to many other situations where employees must work at heights.

FALL RESTRAINT: A fall restraint system consists of the equipment used to keep an employee from reaching a fall point, such as the edge of a roof or the edge of an elevated working surface. The most commonly utilized fall restraint system is a standard guardrail. A tie off system that "restrains" the employee from falling off an elevated working surface is another type of fall restraint.

FALL ARREST: According to the definition in the Federal OSHA standard, a personal fall arrest system means a system used to arrest an employee in a fall from a working level. It consists of an anchor point, connectors, a body belt or body harness and may include a lanyard, deceleration device, lifeline, or suitable combinations of these. The entire system must be capable of withstanding the tremendous impact forces involved in stopping or arresting the fall. The forces increase with the fall distance due to acceleration (a person without protection will free fall 4 feet in 1/2 second and 16 feet in 1 second!).

Let's review 5 key requirements for fall arrest systems:
1) Body belts may not be used after 12/31/97. In the meantime, body belts can only be used if the system limits the maximum arresting force on an employee to 900 pounds. A maximum arresting force of 1800 pounds is allowed when a body harness is utilized. In some jurisdictions, such as Washington State, belts are currently not allowed for fall arrest purposes.

2) The system must be rigged so that an employee cans neither free-fall more than 6 feet nor contact a lower level. After the free-fall distance, the deceleration or shock absorbing component of the system must bring an employee to a complete stop within 3.5 additional feet.

3) The anchorage point must be capable of supporting at least 5000 pounds per employee. Most standard guardrail systems are not adequate anchorage points because they are not built to withstand the impact forces generated by a fall.

4) The system's D-ring attachment point for body harnesses shall be in the center of the employee's back near the shoulder level.

5) The system components must be inspected for damage and deterioration prior to each use. All components subjected to the impact loading forces of a free-fall must be immediately removed from service.

Personal Fall Arrest System

A Personal Fall Arrest System is comprised of three (3) key components – Anchorage connector; Body wear; and Connecting device.
While a lot of focus has been given to anchorage connectors and body wear (full-body harnesses), when discussing fall protection, the connecting device (a shock-absorbing lanyard or self-retracting lifeline) between these two components actually bears the greatest fall forces during a fall.

Anchorage/Anchorage Connector
Anchorage: Commonly referred to as a tie-off point (Ex: I-beam, rebar, scaffolding, lifeline, etc.)
Anchorage Connector: Used to join the connecting device to the anchorage (Ex: cross-arm strap, beam anchor, D-bolt, hook anchor, etc.)
·         Anchorages must be capable of supporting 5,000 pounds (22kN) of force per worker.
·         Must be high enough for a worker to avoid contact with a lower level should a fall occur.
·         The anchorage connector should be positioned to avoid a “swing fall.”

Body Wear
Body Wear: The personal protective equipment worn by the worker (Ex: full-body harness)
·         Only form of body wear acceptable for fall arrest is the full-body harness.
·         Should be selected based on work to be performed and the work environment.
·         Side and front D-rings are for positioning only.

Connecting Device
Connecting Device: The critical link which joins the body wear to the anchorage/anchorage connector (Ex: shock-absorbing lanyard, fall limiter, self-retracting lifeline, rope grab, etc.)
·         Potential fall distance must be calculated to determine type of connecting device to be used – typically, under 18-1/2 ft. (5.6m), always use a self-retracting lifeline/fall limiter; over 18-1/2 ft. (5.6m), use a shock-absorbing lanyard or self-retracting lifeline/fall limiter.
·         Should also be selected based on work to be performed and the work environment.
·         Shock-absorbing lanyards can expand up to 3-1/2 ft. (1.1m) when arresting a fall; attach lanyards to the harness back D-ring only; never tie a knot in any web lanyard – it reduces the strength by 50%.

Hierarchy of Fall Protection

It is generally accepted by governing bodies that the hierarchy of fall protection should provide the starting point for considering what type of fall protection system is required.

1. Eliminate the risk
Avoid work at height where possible or locate plant and equipment in safe locations where there is no risk of a fall.

2. Guard the hazard
When working at height is essential, ensure that workers are not exposed to unnecessary risks; consider providing a parapet or guardrail to eliminate the fall hazard.

3. Protect the worker
Where it is not possible to eliminate the risk of falling, use suitable fall protection system to minimise the consequences of a fall. This can be achieved with a fall arrest or fall restraint system–two completely different entities.
In essence, a fall restraint system prevents workers from reaching a hazard, while a fall arrest system allows workers to reach a hazard and then protects them if they should fall.

Fall Restraint
These systems allow a person access to conduct their duties but prevent them from reaching a point where a fall could occur.
Fall Restraint systems are generally suitable if the person needs to work at the edge of a hazard. For example, where there is a need to maintain gutters along the edge of a roof, or if there are other potential fall hazards such as a fragile roof, roof lights or air vents.
If fitting a fall restraint system, it is recommended that the system should be tested to fall arrest loads to ensure a person’s safety in situations where the system may be misused (i.e. when the person using it wears an over-length lanyard to enable access to the edge of a roof).
Restraint systems are generally positioned more than 2 m from the hazard. This is because common practice is for the worker to be connected to the system by a fixed length 1.5 m lanyard.

Fall Arrest
A fall arrest system provides maximum freedom of movement for workers to conduct their duties. In doing so it allows them to reach the point where a fall could occur, such as the edge of a roof for gutter maintenance. However, in the event of a fall, the fall will be arrested and so allow the person to either effect a self-rescue or be rescued.

Following a fall, consideration must be given to the rescue of the worker – in fact, there is a legal obligation to have a full and comprehensive rescue plan in place when individuals are working at height. 

Using ladders safely

DO place the base of the ladder on a firm, level, dry surface. If there’s a time when this isn’t possible – working on grass, for instance – tie the feet of the ladder to stakes in the ground to stop it slipping, and place a large flat wooden board underneath to help prevent it sinking.
DON’T put a ladder on top of boxes, bricks, barrels or any other unstable surface just to gain extra height.
DO position the ladder so that the base won’t slip outwards. Leaning ladders are designed so that their safest angle of use comes when every 1 measure out from the wall is matched by 4 measures up it (rungs are usually about a third of a metre apart, so its easy enough to get the distances roughly right). Most new extension ladders now have a mark on the stiles to show the safest angle of leaning.
Remember the rule: ‘ONE OUT FOR FOUR UP’
The more the base is moved out from this position, the greater the risk that it will slip outwards suddenly and fall down without warning!
DO secure the bottom and the upper part of the ladder, by tying them (from stiles, not rungs) with rope or straps onto a stable , fixed object. You can tie the base to stakes in the ground, or use fixed blocks or sandbags to help guard against the ladder slipping, or buy special stabilisers. A rope or strap tied from a stile onto a fixed object at about the height of the fifth rung from bottom will help to stop any further movement.
If it’s impossible for some reason to secure the ladder, get another adult to ‘foot’ it (by standing with one foot on the bottom rung and holding a stile in each hand).
DO rest the top of the ladder against a solid surface, never against guttering, or other narrow or plastic features. Where a surface is too brittle or weak to support the top of the ladder, use a stay or a stand-off resting on a firm surface nearby. Bolt or clip this to the top of the ladder before putting up the ladder.
DO have at feast three rungs extending beyond a roofs edge if you’re using a ladder to get yourself up onto the roof.
DO make sure that longer extension ladders (over 18 rungs) have an overlap of at least three rungs. Shorter ones (up to 18 rungs) need a minimum overlap of two.
DO keep your body facing the ladder at all times, centred between the stiles.
DON’T reach too far forwards or sideways, or stand with one foot on the ladder and the other on something else.
DO move the ladder to avoid overstretching, and re-secure it whenever necessary, however frustrating that might be!
DO try to keep both hands free to hold the ladder as much as possible while you’re climbing or descending – if you need to carry any tools, use a shoulder bag, belt holster or belt hooks.
DON’T carry heavy items or long lengths of material up a ladder.
DO hold on to the ladder with one hand while you work. You can get special trays which fit between the stiles to take paint pots, tools etc.
DO wear strong, flat shoes or boots, with dry soles and a good grip.
DON’T wear sandals, slip-ons or have bare feet on a ladder.
DO make sure a door is locked, blocked or guarded by someone if you’re up a ladder in front of it.
DON’T use a ladder in a strong wind.
DON’T use a ladder near any power lines.
DON’T be tempted to use a ladder if you’re not fit enough, or suffer from giddiness or aren’t confident with heights.

Here are the main reasons why people choose aluminium ladders:
·        Strong
·        Durable
·        Lightweight
·        Corrosion-resistant
·        High tensile strength
·        Zero level thermal stress
·        Low maintenance required
·        Can withstand weather extremities

Please Note:
The content in this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only. This publication is not a substitute for review of the applicable government regulations and standards, and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific compliance questions should refer to the cited regulation or consult with an attorney.

Post by Indian Safety Association