According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), struck-by hazards are one of the four most deadly hazards found at the construction sites. The other three includes falls, electrocution and caught in or between. Each year workers die from struck-by accidents.
In 2007, there were 504 deaths in the United States from struck-by accidents. Of these 311 deaths were in construction. Approximately 26% of deaths are in construction from struck-by accidents and about 10% of all occupational deaths are from struck-by accidents.
Struck-by hazards exist anytime a worker could be struck or hit by an object. Working or walking below elevated work surfaces may expose one to falling objects. Also materials being moved overhead could also expose one to falling objects.
I have witnessed situations in my experience where individual workers have been struck by falling objects from ladders where items was stored and scaffolding with no toe-boards.
In order to be safe from struck-by situations the following suggestions should be followed.
1. Keep a safe distance from suspended loads.
2. Store materials properly.
3. Power tools and activities such as pushing, pulling or prying can create flying objects.
4. Grinding or striking materials can create object hazards.
5. Do not work under loads as they are being lifted.
6. Secure all loads and lift them evenly to prevent them from slipping.
7. Never work near vehicle traffic without barricades.
This is not a complete list but by examining the hazards associated with struck-by situations and acting on them will prevent hazards.
Always remember to protect yourself and others when working in areas where potential struck-by hazards exist.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration