Avoiding Struck-By Accidents
Construction sites are dangerous places. While all types of accidents may occur on a construction site, one of the most common – and most dangerous – involve being struck by falling or moving objects. Such accidents are responsible for the second highest cause of fatalities in the construction industry. The best way to avoid struck-by accidents is by ensuring there is a comprehensive safety program onsite and that all workers are cognizant of potential dangers.
Trucks, cranes and other heavy equipment hitting workers is the leading cause of struck-by accidents, comprising approximately 75 percent of deaths and injuries. Other common incidents resulting in struck-by accidents include falling objects, projectiles from nail guns and other power tools and masonry wall collapse.
Preventing Struck-By Accidents
To a great extent, struck-by accident prevention relies on both equipment operators and workers paying attention and observing safety rules. When it comes to vehicles, drivers should wear seat belts and check vehicles before their shift to make sure all aspects are in safe operating condition. A driver should never back a vehicle up if there is any rear view obstruction, unless another person lets them know it is safe to do so. Lower all bulldozer buckets, dump bodies and the like when not in use. Never exceed vehicle load or capacity, and drive all vehicles on well-constructed grades, roadways or driveways. If parking on an incline, always use the parking brake, and if the incline is steep, chock the wheels. Before using a lifting or dumping device, make sure there are no workers in the vicinity.
No one knows when an object will fall from a height or some projectile may fly off a piece of machinery. However, wearing proper safety gear can mitigate possible hazards, at least to some degree. Workers should always wear safety goggles or a face shield if they are using power tools. When navigating a construction site, always wear a hard hat. Unless absolutely necessary, workers should avoid walking beneath areas where work is going on above. Those working overhead should always secure materials and tools to reduce the danger of objects falling. That includes the use of debris nets, toeholds and guardrails. On the ground, place barricades around the work area to keep people from walking directly underneath scaffolding and install warning signs.
When it comes to masonry walls, which may collapse if not correctly shored up, only essential personnel should remain in the vicinity while permanent support elements are put in place. Use controlled access areas to keep out anyone unauthorized.
There is no substitute for proper training when it comes to preventing struck-by accidents. All workers must receive instructions on the right, safe way to operate power tools and construction vehicles, and in a language they understand. If a supervisor sees a worker doing something unsafe, point it out immediately. Hold regular safety refresher meetings.
Wilmington Work Injury Lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC Represent Those Injured at Construction Sites
If you or a loved one was injured in a struck-by accident while on the job, you need the services of the experienced Wilmington work injury lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC. Call us today at 302-888-1221 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation at our Wilmington, Delaware office, where we represent clients in Dover, Newark, and Middletown Delaware. Workers in Philadelphia, Delaware County, or Chester County, Pennsylvania, or New Jersey can call 215-569-8488.