Work-related accidents are a common occurrence in physically demanding professions. The construction industry serves as a prime example of this. A common hazard in this sector is struck-by accidents. Such incidents occur when a worker comes into violent contact with an object or equipment. They can cause severe injuries and, in some cases, prove fatal.
Dangerous environmental factors that cause injuries
Struck-by incidents in 2020 led to 150 deaths and 14,000 nonfatal injuries in the construction sector. This highlights a need to address underlying issues. Several environmental factors in the construction industry play a significant role in these accidents. These include:
- Interaction with heavy machinery and tools: Construction work often involves using heavy machinery, power tools and other equipment. If workers mishandle or misuse these tools or machinery, the risk of struck-by injuries significantly escalates.
- Transportation-related incidents: A significant percentage of fatal and nonfatal struck-by injuries are transportation-related. These incidents typically happen when a vehicle or piece of construction equipment collides with a worker.
- Falling objects: Struck-by injuries can also result from objects falling from different heights. This can happen even from relatively low levels like a truck bed or dolly. The severity of the injury often correlates with the weight of the object and the height from which it falls.
Each worker involved in a struck-by accident initially believed they were safe enough to perform their tasks. Unfortunately, these incidents prove such beliefs wrong. This highlights the importance of incorporating struck-by prevention strategies into the workplace. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that these safety measures could be strict safety protocols, comprehensive training and the correct use of safety equipment.
Workers’ compensation and safety measures
Effective safety measures are not just best practices. They play a critical role in reducing these risks and ensuring the safety of the construction workforce. It’s important to remember that any worker who suffers an injury can seek relief through the state’s workers’ compensation laws. This applies regardless of who is at fault for the injury.