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
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.
- 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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