“Struck by” injuries take place when an employee is hit by work tools, construction materials, a vehicle, or by equipment such as backhoe bucket, flying debris, by earth during a trench collapse, or by any other object.
Ontario’s WSIB statistics (1998-2007) revealed that most “struck by/against” injuries involved working with construction materials such as metal, lumber, pipe, masonry material, walls and doors. Being struck by hand tools both powered and non-powered is the most common cause of injury.
Young workers under 25 years old have a 200% higher chance of being hit than workers who are 55 years old or more. Struck-by injuries account for approximately half of all lost-time injuries in the under 25 age group. The rate of young workers being struck by hand tools, perhaps by hitting themselves, is almost twice that of workers 45 years or older. The young-worker group has accounted for over 15% of all lost-time injuries in Ontario construction.
Upon examining the lost-time of the various age groups, young workers have the highest rate.
It is unknown as to why young workers are more likely to be struck by vehicles or objects, or why they have the highest rate of injuries, however inexperience could play a big part. Here are a few things that employers and supervisors can do to prevent such injuries from occurring.
- Provide adequate training to ensure that young workers or newly hired personnel are aware of all the hazards and controls on construction projects. After the training, have the workers demonstrate that they can perform the assigned tasks safely and correctly and ask workers for feedback about the training.
- Identify and control the hazards. Before you can control hazards, you have to know that they’re there. Take time to look at the jobsite with fresh eyes. Identify the hazards and then choose your method of control.
- Supervise workers and ensure that all PPE such as hard hats, safety boots, safety glasses, and high-visibility clothing is used in accordance with company policy.
- Keep your site free of unnecessary clutter and debris by enforcing housekeeping procedures.
- Inspect equipment routinely and maintain or replace it when appropriate.
- Have signalers for moving equipment, or ensure that workers are separated on site.
For more tips on preventing “Struck by” injuries, visit: www.supplypost.com
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