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Is your employer doing enough to prevent "struck-by" injuries?

Construction sites are full of hazards. In order to keep you as safe as possible, you employer must provide you with the appropriate safety equipment and training. One area where a recently published report says employers are lacking is in preventing "struck-by" accidents.

According to the Center for Construction Research and Training, 804 people lost their lives to these types of accidents between 2011 and 2015. That means that nearly one out of every five accidents involving construction workers resulted from this type of injury. In 2015 alone, 162 construction workers died from these injuries.

Facts about "struck-by" injuries

Consider the following facts about struck-by injuries:

  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration defines them as injuries that occur from forcible contact with, or an impact by, a piece of equipment, a vehicle or an object.
  • A little over half of the injuries in the study resulted from a piece of equipment or an object.
  • Around 96 percent of the survivable injuries resulted from an object or a piece of equipment.
  • The profession most at risk for struck-by injuries is highway maintenance, which are most often struck by vehicles.
  • Other professions with a high risk include loading machine operators, excavators and power-line installers.

For some reason, the older you are, the more likely death will result from a struck-by injury.

These injuries don't need to happen

The majority of these injuries need not happen if employers take the appropriate precautions. The following methods could prevent future injuries:

  • Employers should create safety regulations and standards for employees to follow.
  • Employers should require and provide safety training to all employees.
  • Employers should provide personal protective equipment and require that all employees use it.

These simple steps could save the lives of hundreds of construction workers across the county, including some here in New York.

Dealing with the financial losses

Even the best efforts of an employer and its employees may not be enough to prevent a serious or fatal injury. If that happens, the victim, or his or her family in the case of death, may apply for workers' compensation benefits to help with the financial losses that often accompany on-the-job injuries and deaths. Navigating the system is often complex and frustrating, so enlisting some experienced help may be a good way to remain focused on recovering from an injury or learning to move forward after the loss of a loved one.

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