According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) statistics, one in five worker fatalities in 2014 were in the construction industry. Of these more than half were caused by the so called “Fatal Four,” which include falls, electrocution, struck by object accidents, and caught in/between accidents. The circumstances surrounding falls and electrocution are widely understood, but it is important to be aware of the other two types of injuries to make sure safety measures are in place to prevent them.
Struck by Object Accidents
Struck by object injuries are defined as forcible impact between the worker and a piece of machinery or equipment. Examples include an event involving a falling or swinging object or being hit by a moving vehicle. On construction sites, the following safety measures can help avoid struck by injuries.
- Tools should be properly maintained with safety guards in place.
- Stacked materials should be secured to prevent sliding or falling.
- When working at heights, tools and other loose materials should be properly secured.
- Overhead walking surfaces and scaffolds should have toe guards installed.
- Always wear the proper head, face, eye, and hand protection.
Caught In/Between Accidents
Caught in accidents happen when a worker is pulled into or caught between moving parts of equipment, crushed by two objects, or crushed and suffocated during a cave-in event. Construction workers doing excavation are at a much higher risk for cave-ins due to the nature of their work. Other examples of caught in/between events are a worker being pinned by a moving vehicle to a wall, caught in rolling or compressing machinery, and being pulled into moving machinery or tools by loose clothing. The following precautions should be taken to prevent this type of construction site injury.
- All moving vehicles should be equipped with functioning back up alarms.
- Machinery should have properly functioning safety guards in place during operation.
- Be aware of vehicle movement within construction sites – make eye contact with vehicle and equipment operators to protect yourself.
- Machinery must be safely supported and secured. Do not walk underneath a suspended load.
OSHA reports that eliminating the Fatal Four – including struck by object and caught in/between accidents – could save 545 lives each year. Most construction sites use industry standard safety measures and protocols, but fatalities and serious injuries still occur.
Philadelphia Construction Accident Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Fight for Workers Injured on Construction Sites
If you or someone you know was injured on a construction site, the Philadelphia construction accident lawyers at DiTomaso Law will aggressively pursue your case to win you the compensation you deserve. We are located in Center City Philadelphia and Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and serve Philadelphia County, Bucks County, Montgomery County, Chester County, Delaware County, Camden County, Burlington County, Salem County, Gloucester County, Cumberland County, and Atlantic County. Call us today for a free consultation about your case at 215-426-4493 or 856-414-0010 or fill out our simple online form.