Struck By Object in Workplace
The National Safety Council reports that being struck by an object is one of the top three causes of emergency room visits for people of all ages in the U.S. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), being stuck by an object is one of the Fatal Four leading causes of fatality in the construction industry. The Fatal Four, consisting of being struck by an object, falls, electrocutions, and caught/in between objects, accounts for more than 50 percent of construction worker fatalities.
However, workers in various industries, including farming, trucking, and logging are also at risk of being struck by objects. For over four decades, the legal team at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. has represented people injured in struck by accidents in all types of industries and fields of work. According to OSHA, workers are most often struck by vehicles and heavy equipment, falling or flying objects, and concrete or masonry walls.
Vehicles and Heavy Equipment: Vehicles and heavy equipment such as trucks, forklifts, and cranes pose hazards to workers. When operators are distracted or have an obstructed view, workers may be struck by the vehicle and suffer serious injuries. Improperly maintained and overloaded vehicles are also hazardous to workers.
To prevent struck by hazards caused by vehicles and heavy equipment, OSHA makes the following recommendations:
- Wear a seat belt and/or all appropriate safety gear
- Ensure vehicles are properly maintained
- Use parking brake and chock the wheels when parking on an incline
- Do not exceed the equipment’s load or lift capacity
- Adequately train all forklift operators
- Exercise caution when working on public roadways
Falling or Flying Objects: Unsecured tools and materials stored overhead may fall, causing workers to suffer injuries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), building materials, metal, pipes, ducts, and wood cause the most injuries among construction workers. Other examples of flying objects include nail gun discharges, airborne debris, and blasts of compressed air.
To prevent struck by hazards caused by falling or flying objects, OSHA makes the following recommendations:
- Use caution when working around cranes, hoists, and scaffolds
- Do not work underneath suspended loads and make sure the operator has seen you
- Ensure all tools and materials are secured when performing overhead work
- Train workers on the safe operation of tools and provide them with appropriate safety gear
- Inspect machinery to ensure everything is in working order
- Secure materials against high winds
- Only use compressed air with the proper guards and personal protective equipment
Concrete or Masonry Walls
Concrete or masonry walls that are being constructed pose a danger to workers because of the heavy loads these structures are designed to bear. Slabs may fall and injure workers because lifting equipment is overloaded or fails to operate correctly. Unauthorized personnel entering the construction area are also at risk of sustaining struck by object injuries.
To prevent struck by hazards caused by concrete or masonry walls, OSHA makes the following recommendations:
- Always have a qualified person give the go-ahead when placing construction loads on concrete structures
- Ensure support elements, such as shores and braces, are in place
- Keep unauthorized personnel out of the construction area
- Use automatic holding devices to support structures
- Use a Personal Fall Arrest System with a full body harness to protect workers from falls
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Represent Workers Who Have Been Struck By an Object at Work
If you were injured in a struck by accident, contact a skilled Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Call us at 888-PITT-LAW or complete our online contact form for a free consultation. We serve clients in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County.
Our team also provides skilled representation to those residing in and around Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.