Stay Alert to Stay Alive
What’s at Stake?
Struck-by and caught-between hazards account for over 1,500 workplace deaths a year and are present in almost every industry sector.
While they can happen anywhere, the hazards are most common in:
- Work zones;
- Working with or around heavy equipment;
- During overhead and scaffold work; and
- Construction work, including excavation work and the construction of concrete walls.
What’s the Danger?
When an injury is caused from the impact of being hit by something it is considered a struck-by incident. When an injury happens from being pulled into or crushed between two or more objects it is considered a caught between incident.
How to Protect Yourself
To protect yourself from struck-by hazards:
- Ensure all hand tools are maintained in good condition.
- Only use powder-actuated tools if you are trained and authorized to do so.
- Never use compressed air for cleaning your clothes, equipment, or anything else.
- Don’t forget to secure all materials and tools if you’re working at heights and check that toe boards are installed along the edge of overhead walking and working surfaces and scaffolds.
- Use tag-lines to keep suspended loads controlled.
- Never walk under suspended loads. You could be struck or crushed by the load.
- Secure stacked materials to prevent sliding, falling or collapsing. Stacked materials are also struck-by and caught-between hazards.
- Finally, wear head, eye and face protection in areas where falling or flying objects are likely.
To protect yourself from caught in or between hazards:
- Use machinery that is properly guarded.
- Use methods such as blocking and cribbing, to ensure that machinery is supported, secured or otherwise made safe from unexpected moving, rolling, or shifting.
- Don’t wear loose clothing or jewelry around moving parts, tools and equipment.
- Never get into a trench or excavation that isn’t properly shored or protected.
- Follow lockout/tagout procedures so equipment cannot be started accidentally when you are doing adjustments or maintenance. Unexpected startup could result in both a struck-by or caught-between hazard.
Always make eye contact with equipment operators before walking in front of, behind or around equipment and pay attention to back-up alarms on equipment and vehicles.
Stay alert to struck-by and caught-between hazards to stay alive.