Providing a safe working environment for employees is essential for employers. From complying with OSHA guidelines to providing safety training, there is a lot that employers can do to make worker safety a priority.
But there are also things that employees can do to be safer at work, especially when it comes to minimizing distractions. In the United States, contact with objects is a leading cause of work-related fatalities. This includes workers being:
- Struck by an object
- Caught in collapsing material
- Struck against an object
- Caught in equipment or an object
Items that swing, fall, roll, slide, slip, or fly can cause serious work injuries. Some examples of preventable fatal injuries include vehicles slipping off jacks, loggers getting struck by trees, and construction workers being hit by construction materials.
Contact with Objects
OSHA reports that approximately 75% of struck-by fatalities involve heavy equipment, like cranes. Agriculture, construction, and manufacturing workers are at the most risk for struck-by injuries. However, transportation employees, police, firefighters, and other workers are also at risk for serious injury or death due to contact with objects; it is counted as one of the top three causes of fatality and injury for these workers.
Preventing Struck-by Injuries
Distraction and not paying attention to surroundings can lead to injury, particularly for employees working with heavy equipment. Faulty equipment, lack of training, improper use of equipment, and lack of workplace housekeeping are other common contributors to struck-by injuries.
It’s essential for machine operator to be paying careful attention at all times. Anyone working around heavy equipment also need to practice caution. Here are additional tips from the NSC:
- Wear the correct personal protective equipment for your environment.
- Walk behind moving equipment if possible.
- Do not operate equipment if you have not been trained to use it.
- Store heavy items close to the floor.
- Ensure that loose materials are secured.
- Exercise caution around corners, doorways, and other areas where it may be difficult to see other workers.
- Make sure vehicles and equipment are in safe operating condition before use. Check all safety devices on the equipment to make sure they are working correctly.
By working together, employees and employers can maintain a safe working environment and prevent contact with object injuries.
If you or someone you love has been injured at work, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.