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)
· 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