Hazards Related to Striking by Moving, Flying, or Falling Objects
Have you ever been working on a construction site and heard something falling overhead? Chances are, whatever it was probably wasn’t supposed to fall and posed a potential hazard to you. This blog post will look at some of the most common hazards of striking by moving, flying, or falling objects. By understanding these hazards, you can take steps to protect yourself from them.
Reducing the risk of injuries from moving, flying or falling objects is an important part of workplace safety. However, many workers aren’t aware of the dangers posed by these hazards and don’t take proper precautions to protect themselves. Let’s look at some of the most common hazards of striking by moving, flying, or falling objects.
Being struck by an object or piece of equipment resulted in 473 work-related deaths in 2011, according to the 2014 edition of the National Safety Council’s “Injury Facts.” OSHA notes that seemingly innocuous activities can have deadly consequences in case reports on deaths due to falling or flying objects.
In one example, a worker was standing under a scaffold in which ladders were being hoisted. Sections of the ladder fell 50 feet, striking the worker – not wearing head protection – and killing him.
Typical Hazards Related to Striking by Moving, Flying, or Falling Objects
Many potential hazards are associated with being struck by moving, flying, or falling objects. These hazards can range from minor injuries to severe injuries or even death. Some of the most common hazards include:
Typical moving object hazards
Many potential hazards are associated with moving objects, and it is important to be aware of them to avoid potential accidents or injuries. Some of the most common hazards include:
- Falling objects: Objects that are not properly secured can fall and injure people below.
- Crushing hazards: People can be caught between two moving objects and crushed.
- Shearing hazards: Moving parts on machinery can shear people if they are not properly protected.
- Cutting hazards: Rotating blades on machinery can cut people if they are not careful.
- Electrical hazards: Exposed electrical wiring can shock or electrocute people if they come into contact with it.
- Fire hazards: Poorly maintained machinery can overheat and start fires.
- Chemical hazards: Chemicals can spill or leak from containers and cause injuries if they come into contact with people.
These are just some of the potential hazards associated with moving objects. It is important to be aware of these dangers and take steps to protect yourself and others from them.
Typical flying object hazards:
- Ejected parts, such as swarf (sharp metal waste) ejected during metal drilling.
- Thrown objects, such as scaffold coupling.
Typical falling object hazards:
- Loads falling from height during lifting and handling operations (e.g., boxes falling from a pallet when being lifted by a forklift truck).
- Objects being dislodged during work height (e.g., slates dislodged from a roof during roof work).
- Objects falling from height because of adverse weather conditions or wear and tear (e.g., scaffold boards blown off a scaffold in strong winds; duct work falling from a ceiling due to deterioration of fixings).
- The toppling of unstable objects (e.g., an unsecured ladder; a poorly-stacked load on racking).
Though people are not injured by falling objects as often as by vehicles and falls from height, the injuries may be serious or fatal.
Striking Against Fixed or Stationary Objects
- Objects project into a pedestrian area or route (e.g., stored stock metal sheets that partly project into a walkway).
- Narrow doorways in a pedestrian route.
- Low overheads (e.g., pipework at head height above a gantry walkway).
OSHA provides the following safety tips on falling and flying objects:
- Always wear a hard hat.
- Stack work materials and secure tools to prevent them from sliding, falling, or collapsing.
- Use tileboards, screens, or guardrails on scaffolds to prevent falling objects.
- Use debris nets, catch platforms, or canopies to catch or deflect falling objects.
Power tools and machines:
- Wear appropriate eye protection – including safety glasses, goggles, and face shields – around machines or tools that may cause an object to become airborne.
- Ensure protective guards on tools are in good condition.
- Only allow trained workers to operate powder-actuated tools.
Cranes and hoists:
- Avoid working underneath moving loads.
- Barricade hazard areas and post warning signs.
- Inspect cranes and hoists to ensure all components are in good condition.
- Do not exceed lift capacities.
- Reduce compressed air used for cleaning to 30 psi, and only use with appropriate guarding and protective equipment.
- Never clean clothing with compressed air.
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