Employers Urged To Reduce Struck-By Accidents

Struck-by accidents in the workplace are among the leading causes of injury and death across various industries, particularly in construction and manufacturing settings. These incidents occur when a worker is hit by moving objects such as vehicles, forklifts, falling or flying objects, or swinging equipment.

IHSA publishes guide to prevent struck-by incidents in the workplace

The National Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-By Incidents event in April encourages employers to schedule time for safety demonstrations, toolbox talks, and training opportunities.

“Struck-by hazards are present on nearly every job site and include things like falling and flying objects, vehicles and heavy equipment, and swing hazards from cranes,” said the event co-sponsor, The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR). “These incidents are the No. 1 cause of nonfatal injuries in construction and the leading cause of death among heavy and civil construction workers, but they can be avoided by careful planning, training, and the use of controls.”

A new guide from the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association gives employers information on identifying factors that can increase the risk of struck-by accidents and how to control or manage those risks.

Identifying risk factors

The guide recommends identifying and understanding the multiple factors that can play a role in preventing struck-by accidents, including:

  • Planning & proximity (traffic, pathways, proximity of work or workers to vehicles, training, procedures, reporting, contractor overlap, and schedules)
  • Equipment (condition and suitability of vehicles, attachments, mirrors, cameras, safety devices (if any), controls, seating)
  • Task (goals or objectives, work or task locations, timing, pace or incentives, technology use, interactions)
  • Environment (site layout, space, traffic and pedestrian paths, lighting, noise, time of day, visibility, blind spots, blind corners, weather)
  • People (workers, team, supervisors, line of sight, focus of attention, hearing, eyesight, posture, personal protective equipment (PPE), communication)

Managing risk

The guide notes employers can manage the risk of workers being struck by vehicles or mobile equipment by taking three key steps:

  • Identify the factors that contribute to the risk in your workplace.
  • Assess those factors to determine the degree of risk to workers.
  • Control the factors to reduce the risk.

Controlling risk

The guide lists a hierarchy of controls employers can take to reduce risk. From most to least effective, they are:

  • Elimination of the risk.
  • Substitution.
  • Engineering controls.
  • Administrative controls.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE).

Fighting for the rights of injured workers in New Jersey

In New Jersey, when workers are injured in struck-by accidents—or any other type of workplace incident—they are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits are designed to cover medical treatments and help compensate for lost wages if an injury affects their ability to work.

Despite these protections, many workers’ compensation claims are denied. Employers and insurance companies often dispute claimants’ eligibility or the extent of their injuries. Furthermore, injured workers might be pressured to return to work before they have fully recovered. That’s why having an experienced workers’ compensation attorney is crucial.

The attorneys at Shebell & Shebell, LLC have been fighting for New Jersey’s injured workers for decades. We are well-versed in the nuances of the workers’ compensation system and can support you through every stage of the process—from filing your initial claim to appealing denied claims in court, if necessary.

In addition to workers’ compensation claims, injured workers may have the right to file a third-party claim. This can occur if someone other than their employer contributed to their accident, such as a negligent contractor or a manufacturer of faulty equipment. Filing a third-party claim can allow them to pursue additional compensation for pain and suffering, which is not covered under workers’ compensation.

If you’ve been injured on the job, it’s important to understand all of your legal options. To learn more about how we can assist you, contact Shebell & Shebell, LLC, to schedule a free consultation. We’re here to ensure you receive the full compensation you deserve, helping you to focus on your recovery without financial stress.

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