Due to the dangerous equipment that Pennsylvania construction workers have to use for their projects, they have a much higher injury rate than other industries in a number of areas. For example, construction sites have an excessive amount of struck-by incidents in comparison to other job fields.
The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) released a report last year which states that there were 804 construction worker fatalities from struck-by accidents from 2011 to 2015, which is the highest of any industry. While vehicle accidents on streets and highways made up most of the deaths, there were many that were the result of faulty equipment or operator negligence when it came to the construction of new buildings. It is crucial for workers and contractors to be aware of these hazards so they have a better understanding of how to prepare the site.
Vehicle failure is a frequent cause
Construction vehicles make up a large portion of strike-by fatalities. Workers often use heavy-duty vehicles such as bulldozers, cranes and loaders in these projects to clear the land or to lift larger loads of building materials. The impressive strength and durability of these vehicles means that any person struck by it has a higher chance of receiving serious injuries or death.
Drivers should be paying very close attention to their surroundings when operating this machinery as there are several blind spots in these vehicles. The work environment should also be well-lit at night to avoid operators running or hitting anyone in the dark.
Watch out for falling objects
Falling objects are one of the leading causes of strike-by accidents in constructions sites with both fatal and nonfatal outcomes. The most common nonfatal injuries in 2015 came from solid building materials that fell on workers. Most of this happens when workers overestimate how much they are able to transport to higher levels. If the machine’s lift capacity exceeds, then it could collapse and send all those objects plummeting down towards innocent workers.
Workers must wear hardhats and keep their distance from suspended materials in their area. The machine transporting the load should pass examination before operation and have someone who knows the vehicle’s limitations controlling it.
Handling your tools
While solid building materials made up the most nonfatal striking injuries in 2015, over half of them were from non powered and powered hand tools. Some workers choose to work in close proximity when using power saws, crowbars or nail guns. All it takes is one misstep for any of this deadly equipment to put someone in the hospital.
Even if both workers are well-trained and careful with their tools, they can also be at serious risk if the equipment is not properly checked. Flying objects that came from nail guns or striking or grinding materials too much have resulted in a number of accidents.
The strike-by construction deaths mentioned in this study are preventable. If you were struck by a vehicle or object on site by a negligent operator or faulty equipment, then someone is liable for your injury. Given the severity of most construction site injuries and the amount of medical expenses they bring, you should take legal action for your injury to receive appropriate compensation.