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Struck-by Hazards and Heavy Equipment

Not all construction site hazards are created equally. Some are so severe that they've earned special attention from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA calls them the Focus Four: struck-by, caught in-between, falls and electrocutions. Together, they are the leading causes of fatalities among construction workers.

What are struck-by hazards?  Struck-by hazards include:

* flying

* falling

* swinging

* rolling objects.

Common causes of struck-by injuries include workers on foot being hit by machinery or trucks, suspended loads falling on employees, and tools or material falling on workers below. Preventing struck-by injuries involving heavy equipment is a shared responsibility between equipment operators and other workers in the area.

Equipment operators: 

*  Drive equipment and vehicles on safely constructed and maintained grades and roadways.

* Make sure everyone is in the clear before using dumping or lifting devices.

* Completely lower or block bulldozer and scraper blades, end-loader buckets anddump bodies when not in use, and leave all controls in neutral position.

* Make sure haul vehicles that are loaded by cranes, power shovels and loaders are

equipped with cab shields or canopies that protect drivers from falling materials.

* Do not exceed a vehicle's rated load or lift capacity.

* Do not carry others unless the equipment has a designated passenger seat and belt.

* Ensure the audible back-up alarm works.

Other workers in the area:

*  Stay away from heavy equipment when it's operating.

*  Know where all heavy equipment is, even if it is not in use.

*  Stay clear of lifted loads, and never work under a suspended load.

*  Beware of unbalanced loads.

*  Workers should confirm and receive acknowledgement from the heavy equipment operator that they are visible.

*  Be aware of the swing radius of cranes, excavators and backhoes, and do not enter those zones.

*  Wear your hard hat and high-visibility vest.

We wish to thank Texas Mutual for their continued support with safety prevention newsletters thru Tool Box Talks. GPS actively utilizes their resources for training and accident prevention awareness. GPS was awarded their Safety Excellence Award in 2016.