The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recently released a Quarterly Data Report that includes data on fatalities and injuries suffered by workers as a result of being struck by vehicles, objects, and equipment. These types of hazards, referred to as “struck-by” hazards, are one of the top four causes of fatal and non-fatal injuries in the construction industry. OSHA used data collected by the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics, and in its final report, emphasized solutions for employers and employees alike to prevent these types of injuries from occurring.
According to this report, well over 800 “struck-by” incidents resulted in fatalities for construction workers over the past six years. More than half of these fatalities were hardworking men and women in the construction industry who were struck by falling objects or moving equipment. The other half were the result of workers being struck by moving vehicles. Construction workers over the age of 65 experienced the highest rate of struck-by fatalities. Although anyone in a work zone was identified to be at risk of this type of construction accident, certain jobs were found to be more dangerous, including:
Highway maintenance workers
Workers installing power lines
Loading machine operators
Excavating machine operators
Bridge construction workers
Site preparation workers
Utility system employees
Plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning workers
Poured concrete foundation and structure workers
The report focused on the fact that all of these fatalities were entirely preventable. There are numerous things that employees can and should do to keep safe. According to the report, training, use of personal protective equipment, engineering controls, and following safety protocols are all good ways to prevent having struck-by accidents. Employers should take a proactive role in protecting their employees. Construction companies can dramatically improve worker safety and reduce the number of struck-by accidents by providing their workers with adequate training, education, and safety gear. Using supplies like “do not cross” tape or floor signs where there is a known specific hazard can help people be more alert and remind them to stay on the lookout for hidden dangers.
Even after employees have been trained and provided with appropriate safety gear, training should be refreshed regularly so that employees are reminded of the very real dangers they face. Construction workers can often become desensitized to the danger of their occupation without regular reminders that they are working in an inherently dangerous industry.
New Jersey Construction Accident Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP Advocate for Victims of Struck-By AccidentsTo speak to an experienced New Jersey construction accident lawyer at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP, call us today at 732-777-0100 or contact us online. We fight hard for injured victims, and we are here to help with any questions you may have. With offices located in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River, we represent injured clients throughout the state of New Jersey. We provide free consultations and are highly responsive to our clients’ questions and concerns.