Probably the most unpredictable type of accident is being struck by a moving object because it is usually out of the routine.
Struck-by fatalities and severe injuries can result from:
- Falling Objects
- Loose or Shifting Materials
- Lack of Overhead Protection
- Backing Incidents
- Rigging Failure
- Equipment Tip over or Malfunction
- Vehicle and Equipment Strikes
- Flying Objects
What do you look for? What do you have to guard against? You should be careful at blind intersections in and around the worksite, and look out for industrial trucks, overhead cranes and hoists. Rolls or pipes improperly stacked and unguarded can give way and roll into you, causing serious consequences.
Watch for co-workers carrying objects too long for them to handle–a slight change of direction by the carrier can cause the object to swing into someone else. Workers carrying objects that obscure their vision are a real threat to themselves and co-workers. On the job is no place to daydream. You could bump into co-workers or stacked material. Unbalanced loads on lift trucks or materials stacked too high or too wide should not be allowed.
In addition to the more or less unpredictable causes of struck-by accidents, there are some that are predictable, like slivers from machine tools, particles from grinding wheels, chips or splinters from striking hammers or chisels against wood or metal, breaking glass, explosions, uncoiling steel strip rolls and co-workers swinging picks, axes and shovels without looking.
Do not operate equipment that you are not trained and authorized to operate. The result can be fatal. Two employees were filling sewer trenches at a housing development. One employee was operating a tractor equipped with a Gannon box (used for grading) and the other employee was spraying water for dust control. For an unknown reason, the laborer started operating the tractor and backed over the original operator who died of injuries from the accident.
Always be alert and look out for struck-by hazards as it can be painful to be caught off guard.