New York Personal Injury Attorneys
How Construction Workers Can Avoid OSHA’s Fatal Four: Struck-By Hazards
It isn’t a secret that construction workers have dangerous jobs. Every day, they are faced with laborious work that is not without its share of safety hazards. While rare, some job site hazards can even be fatal. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, has determined what is the “Fatal Four,” or what is considered the four top safety hazards that construction workers face daily.
These hazards include falls, electrocutions, being struck by objects, and getting caught in or between hazards. Below, the construction accident attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. specifically detail the struck-by hazards in OSHA’s Fatal Four and how workers can best avoid finding themselves victims of these dangers.
An Overview of OSHA’s Fatal Four: Struck-By Hazards
A struck-by hazard is when an individual makes contact with an object while on a worksite. According to OSHA, struck-by injuries accounted for 93 construction worker deaths in 2016—9.4% of the total fatalities caused by construction site hazards. Objects flying, falling, swinging, or rolling on the job site can cause severe injury and death to construction workers who come into their path.
Struck-By: Flying Object Hazards
Flying objects on the job site pose a big threat to construction workers—these objects may include flying debris, tools and equipment that are thrown by another person, nail gun discharges and broken or exploding equipment.
In order to best avoid coming in contact with a flying object on the job site, it is always recommended to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect the eyes, head and vital organs. It is also essential to stand far out of the way of dangerous tools, such as nail guns, and stay vigilant at all times while tools are in use.
Struck-By: Falling Object Hazards
Falling objects on the worksite include debris, cranes accidentally dropping their load, and loose equipment from stories above. Even the smallest object can gain enough force when falling to cause dramatic injury to the person below. This is often why construction workers perform their duties beneath scaffolding, though mistakes can still happen and result in injuries or even death.
To best avoid injury by a falling object, it is always recommended to wear a helmet or hard hat, as well as work under scaffolding or debris nets when possible. Additionally, toe boards should be used to stop items from falling off edges or slipping through railings. Lastly, always stack and organize materials properly to ensure there is little chance of an object falling from an edge and causing harm to anyone below.
Struck-By: Swinging Object Hazards
Swinging objects on a construction site include cranes, wrecking balls and machinery carrying heavy objects that could sway. Heavy swinging objects are extremely dangerous to construction workers if they are in the direct path of the hazard.
The best method to avoid being struck by a swinging object on the worksite is to ensure that loads are always secured to the maximum degree. Equipment should also always be thoroughly inspected for safety, security and durability. Always stay far out of the radius of the swinging object.
Struck-By: Rolling Object Hazards
Lastly, rolling objects on the construction site include moving vehicles or equipment; it can also include any inanimate object that is designed to be rolled in order to be transported. Construction workers who find themselves in the way of moving vehicles or objects on the construction site can become seriously injured due to the force of the object. These accidents can even be fatal.
Construction workers can best avoid rolling object hazards by always walking behind or to the side of any moving vehicles or objects, never in front. Always ensure the moving vehicles are working properly and inspected for safety. It is also best to make direct eye contact with the operator of the vehicle or machine to make sure they notice your presence before moving the vehicle.
If You Have Been Injured in a Construction Accident, Contact our New York Attorneys Today
Most of the time, construction sites are following correct procedures to ensure the safety of each worker on site. However, that may not always be the case. Inadequate working conditions, defective PPE and preventable construction errors that lead to serious injury or death can be grounds for a lawsuit. If you or someone you know is a construction worker who was seriously injured on the job due to negligence, you may be entitled to pursue compensation. Call (212)-732-9000 or fill out a form here to get in touch with our construction accident attorneys. We are proud to serve our clients in New York and New Jersey.