One of The Fatal Four

One of The Fatal Four

Struck-by hazards are one of the OSHA FOCUS FOUR which are the top 4 causes of fatalities in the construction industry. A struck-by hazard is the potential for an incident in which a worker may be hit by an object, tool or equipment. Struck-by hazards are often caused by improper material and equipment handling, poor housekeeping and lack of training about site/equipment awareness.

Struck-by hazards can come from a variety of activities, work environments, and tasks, such as:

  • Working on or near roads, bridges or highways
  • Working below elevated structures such as scaffolds or where cranes are lifting materials overhead
  • Using compressed air, pneumatic tools, or powder actuated tools
  • Working near heavy equipment such as excavators, backhoes or cranes
  • Working inside of trenches or excavations
  • Working as a rigger, or near rigging, lifting, or materials handling operations
  • Using hand tools such as chisels, hammers or wire clippers
OSHA Standard 1926.102(a)(2) The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses eye protection that provides side protection when there is a hazard from flying objects.
 Worker using a hammer and chisel to chip away tiles. Notice the proper use of Eye Protection in the form of safety goggles that include side protectors.

Worker using a hammer and chisel to chip away tiles. Notice the proper use of Eye Protection in the form of safety goggles that include side protectors.

Safety meetings on struck-by hazards are a must in the construction industry, but are also recommended for teams that work in warehouse or shops and for the manufacturing and distribution industries.

Cover these important points during any safety meeting covering struck-by hazards if they pertain to the working environment.

  • Workers must be trained and familiar with the use of power tools including pneumatic, electrical, and powder actuated tools.
  • All safety devices, guards, and switches should be kept in place and used to prevent accident discharge of the tool.
OSHA Standard 1926.451(h)(1) In addition to wearing hardhats each employee on a scaffold shall be provided with additional protection from falling hand tools, debris, and other small objects… When the falling objects are too large, heavy or massive to be contained or deflected… the employer shall place such potential falling objects away from the edge of the surface from which they could fall and shall secure those materials as necessary to prevent their falling.
  • Workers in trenches and excavations should be in visible line-of-sight of equipment operators to avoid being struck by the equipment.
  • Workers should wear high visibility clothing such as safety vests to make them visible to equipment operators, site traffic or road traffic.
  • Equipment with obstructed views to the rear should be equipped with audible alarms and working horns.

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