You face many job-related hazards when you make your living working in construction, and struck-by injuries are among your biggest injury risks. Struck-by injuries occur when you face contact or impact between you and an object or piece of equipment. These injuries range in severity from relatively minor to severe and even fatal.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that struck-by injuries are the leading cause of nonfatal injuries in construction. They are also the second-most-common cause of death among professionals in your line of work.
Statistics surrounding struck-by injuries
In 2016, struck-by injuries were so common in construction that they cost U.S. employers more than 1.7 billion in workers’ compensation costs. When you work in construction, your risk of experiencing a struck-by injury is more than two times greater than it is for individuals in all other lines of work.
Common causes of struck-by injuries
Struck-by injuries are especially common in certain situations. So, recognizing where your risks are should help you learn to mitigate them. The majority of modern struck-by injuries in construction involve powered and non-powered hand tools, solid building materials, or waste, building scraps or debris. The vast majority, or 96%, of nonfatal struck-by injuries, involve construction workers coming in contact with falling objects, flying objects or equipment. Many fatal struck-by injuries involve cars and trucks.
There are steps you might take to protect yourself against struck-by injuries on the construction site. However, your employer also has a duty to protect his or her workforce and follow all Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines.