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Struck-by injuries and how to prevent them

Among OSHA’s Construction Focus Four (the four hazards that together cause the majority of fatalities at construction sites) is the struck-by object. Struck-by accidents constitute the widest range of threats, covering objects that fly, fall, swing or roll, so North Carolina workers will want to know how to prevent them.

The first step is to understand the nature of each hazard. Objects can separate from machinery or tools and become airborne. Improperly operated cranes can cause objects to swing. Workers can be struck by sliding objects or by vehicles. Falling object hazards are self-explanatory, though they do not cover collapsing structures and materials.

In general, all workers should wear the appropriate personal protective equipment. They should never operate anything without proper training. Goggles and face shields can prevent chips and particles from causing injury. Lathes and saws should have protective guards. To avoid accidents with rolling equipment, workers should never overload them and should always walk in front of them.

Loose materials in overhead locations should be securely stored. Heavier objects belong closer to the ground. Barricades should restrict areas where elevated work is being done. Preventing swinging object hazards can be done by ensuring that cranes and hoists have functioning components and never exceed lifting capacity. Workers should never work under loads that are being lifted.

Despite all safety procedures, construction site accidents will continue to happen. People who have been injured in one may want to meet with an attorney and see what steps will need to be taken to receive appropriate workers’ compensation benefits that could include the payment of medical bills and the receipt of a percentage of wages lost during the recovery period.

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