Construction sites are busy places where the collaboration of heavy machinery, equipment and manual labor is a daily occurrence. Amidst the hustle and bustle, the risk of struck-by incidents looms large.
These incidents, where objects or vehicles strike workers, are far too common in the construction industry. They also cause a significant percentage of construction industry deaths each year. Understanding the nature of struck-by incidents and implementing preventive measures helps enhance safety for construction workers everywhere.
Struck-by incidents involving vehicles
A common cause of struck-by incidents in construction is the movement of vehicles within the work zone. Construction sites often involve the operation of trucks, forklifts and other heavy equipment. Visual obstructions are also common. Without communication and clear signage, the risk of cars striking workers increases. Even if they do not cause deaths, struck-by incidents involving vehicles can be serious.
Struck-by incidents involving falling objects
Beyond vehicular risks, falling objects pose a hazard on construction sites. Tools, materials or debris can fall from heights. This can cause severe injuries to the workers below. Implementing safety measures can help mitigate the risk of falling objects. Examples include securing tools and materials, using toe boards and establishing restricted zones
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vehicular struck-by incidents caused 47% of construction deaths in 2021. Struck-by incidents involving falling objects caused 27% of construction fatalities that same year. The prevalence of struck-by incidents in construction underscores the need for heightened awareness. It also calls for more proactive safety measures to protect construction workers nationwide.