If you work construction in Wisconsin, you already know how important it is to take every precaution to protect yourself from worksite accidents. Even more important than using appropriate protective equipment, preventing injuries begins with thorough training and scrupulous caution.
Construction accidents result in thousands of injuries and fatalities each year, leaving workers to re-evaluate their lives, and families to cope with unspeakable loss. While falling is the number one cause of injury on worksites, the second is struck by accidents. These result in nearly 800 deaths a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Multiple kinds of struck-by accidents
Because your job requires you to be surrounded by heavy equipment, sharp objects and dangerous tools, you do not have the luxury of distraction or impairment. If you aren’t on your game, accidents may happen. The broadest category of hazards is the struck-by accident. On the average construction site, you are at risk of being struck and injured by objects that roll, fall, swing or fly.
Rolling objects include large machinery operated by workers who may not be able to see you. If you are unable to see the face of the driver, chances are he or she does not know that you are there. In such cases, you are in danger, especially if the equipment, such as a backhoe or large truck, is coming around a corner. If you are operating machinery, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and to never overload your vehicle in such a way that your view is blocked.
Danger all around
Other examples of struck-by hazards include the following:
- Objects that drop from work areas overhead, such as tools falling from scaffolding
- Debris or construction materials that fall from high work areas
- Objects that slip or move as a machine lifts them, such as a crane or forklift
- Objects such as cranes or hanging loads that may swing or move
- Blades or rods that come loose from saws or lathes
- Nail guns that send nails penetrating through thin walls or wood
Most of the time, struck-by accidents are preventable with safety protocol in place, careful inspection of equipment and attention to every aspect of the task at hand. However, even if you are cautious on the job, you never know when someone else’s negligence will result in injuries to you. When this happens, you have access to financial support through workers’ compensation. You also have recourse to legal assistance from the moment you seek benefits through your employer’s insurance.