Struck by Objects


Problem:

Workers that build or erect false work may face hazards from struck by objects.

Risk Description:

Struck by object injuries are produced by forcible contact or impact between the injured person and an object or piece of equipment.  This type of hazard can be categorized by: flying, falling, swinging or, rolling.

Struck by flying object

A struck by flying object hazard occurs when something has been thrown, hurled, or propelled across space.  This hazard can occur when something is ejected under power by a tool or equipment usually designed for that purpose such as a nail gun.  This hazard can also occur when using compressed air, which is commonly used to power tools and clean surfaces.

Struck by falling object 

A struck by falling object hazard occurs when the source of injury is falling from an elevation to a lower level, including instances where the injured person is crushed, pinned, or caught under a falling object.  However, this excludes collapsing materials or structures.

Struck by swinging object

A struck by swinging object hazard occurs when a suspended or lifted load begins to swing, twist, or turn.  In addition, depending on the force of the swinging load and where the worker is standing, the worker may fall to another level after being struck and sustain greater injuries.

Struck by rolling object

A struck by rolling object hazard occurs when a rolling, moving, or sliding object strikes a worker on the same surface level.


Level of Risk:

In 2014 for the construction industry, according to the BLS, struck by object fatalities was the third leading cause of worker deaths on construction sites (following falls and electrocution) in which it accounted for 8.4% of 874 workers.


Assessment Info:

Assessment for object struck by hazards should be an integral part of the site safety planning process.

To assess the likelihood of struck by accidents, here are limited lists of general items to consider. 

In struck by injuries from flying objects:

  • Are powder-actuated tools being used near other workers and free from defects?
  • Are powder-actuated tools not loaded until immediately before use at attended if they are loaded?
  • Are pneumatic hoses secured?
  • Are saws equipped with guards and have a constant pressure switch that will shut off the power when the pressure is released?
  • Are safety guards on all abrasive wheel bench and stand grinders?

In struck by injuries from falling objects:

  • Are there elevated areas where work is being performed?
  • Are there toeboards along the edge of overhead walking/working surfaces?
  • Are objects secured in overhead storage?
  • Are there canopies under scaffolding?
  • Are workers working under or in the vicinity of suspended loads?
  • Are there equipment operating close to trenches?
  • Are there debris piles?

In struck by injuries from rolling objects:

  • Is there good visibility at the worksite?
  • Are workers wearing high-visibility apparel in work zones?
  • Is there clear signage for motorists in work zones?
  • Are there physical barriers in place to protect workers from vehicle traffic?
  • Are there backup alarms on heavy equipment?
  • Are spotters available to guide traffic during heavy equipment back ups?

In struck by injuries from swinging objects:

  • Is there enough swing radius clearance between the load and worker?
  • Are loads properly secured to their riggings?

Regulations & Standards:

Federal OSHA Standards are enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor in 26 states. There are currently 22 states and jurisdictions operating complete State plans (covering both the private sector and state and local government employees) and 5 - Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and the Virgin Islands - which cover public employees only. If you are working in one of those states or jurisdictions you should ensure that you are complying with their requirements.