Are You At Risk of Being Injured By an Object At Work?
Every workplace, from construction sites to office buildings, is required to follow OSHA rules and reinforce safety in the workplace. These rules are responsible for dramatically reducing the number of workplace injuries and deaths since the 1970s. Accidents can still happen, especially if the rules are ignored even once. This is especially true when heavy objects are involved. Being struck by an object is one of the leading causes of workplace injury and death.
In 2017, there were 695 work-related deaths and over 229,170 injuries with days away from work because of these incidents. Workers in any field need to understand the risks to reduce their risk of being a victim in these kinds of accidents.
What Workers Need to Know
This kind of injury can happen in a variety of ways, including when:
- The object strikes them
- They strike a stationary object
- They are caught in the object
- They are caught in a collapsing material
Objects that roll, fall, swing, or move in some way have the potential to cause injury. Workers in fields like construction or logging are especially vulnerable to accidents involving heavy objects, such as falling trees and building materials, and they have high fatality rates. Accidents involving any object aren’t exclusive to these professions. “Struck-by” deaths and injuries also rank in the top 3 categories for firefighters and law enforcement, office workers, and transportation services.
Reduce Your Risk
These injuries happen when workers are unaware of their surroundings, improperly trained, distracted, trying to take shortcuts, or aren’t careful in some way. Do the following to avoid the risks:
- Make sure vehicles and safety equipment are in safe operating condition before use
- Secure materials that are loose or stored at a height
- Store heavy objects close to the floor
- Open one filing cabinet drawer at a time to prevent a tip-over
- Wear safety equipment, such as steel-toed shoes and a hard hat, on a construction site
- Walk behind moving equipment whenever possible
- Never obstruct your vision by overloading moving equipment
- Don’t operate equipment without the proper training
- Make sure operators of heavy equipment see you or know that you’re near (see and be seen)
- Secure all loads and lift them evenly to prevent them from slipping
Being aware of your surroundings can reduce your chances of being struck by an object at work. Even if you do everything right, accidents can still happen. If you are injured, the costly medical procedures and time spent away from work may be covered by workers’ compensation benefits. Getting these benefits isn’t as simple as you think. Filing a claim, filling out the paperwork, and securing supporting documents shouldn’t be done without the help of an experienced attorney.
You can trust Vellner Law, PC to help guide you through the process. We proudly help workers in Pennsylvania recover from injuries sustained on the job. Contact us us today to discuss your options.