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How to Prevent Struck-By and Backover Incidents

By Randy Hurst
workers safety

Struck-by, struck-against and back-over incidents are far too common:

  • 421 Hudson St., Manhattan, NYC: Construction worker killed by scaffolding plank.
  • Woods Hole Golf Club, Falmouth, MA: Construction worker injured in back-over accident.
  • Interstate 440-East, Raleigh, NC: DOT workers seriously injured when motorist crashed into highway maintenance truck.

They can happen any place at any time, which is why they’re so difficult to prevent. Contributing factors to struck-by incidents include:

  • Poor visibility when working at night or in inclement weather;
  • Untrained workers using tools improperly, wearing the wrong (or no) PPE, or engaging in horseplay;
  • Fatigue distracting workers or motorists in a dangerous work zone.

Many believe that these incidents are actually ‘accidents’ resulting from a series of unfortunate events. OSHA doesn’t see it that way. According to OSHA, labeling struck-by events as accidents suggests a lack of control. Because you don’t have the luxury of disagreeing with
OSHA on semantics, approaching struck-by events as preventable incidents will result in more positive outcomes for you, your employees, and your business.
With that in mind, preventing struck-by, struck-against and back-over incidents comes down to optimizing situational awareness and committing to a safety culture.

Read full article in the SPECIAL Linemen Safety ISSUE.

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