According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 26.2% of all work injuries are the result of objects or equipment striking workers.
These accidents have been and remain a serious risk across all industries, and workers must be aware of the high risk of injury they could face. But what does that risk entail?
Struck-by-accidents are a significant risk for all workers
Work injuries resulting from getting struck by objects are some of the most common risks workers face. These types of accidents are:
- Listed as the third most common workplace accident across all industries; and
- One of the fatal four accidents in the construction industry, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The most common struck-by-accidents that come to mind often involve vehicles or machinery. For example, forklift accidents or even auto accidents on the road are common – and dangerous – struck-by accidents.
However, these types of accidents include a wide range of hazards, such as being struck by:
- Falling objects from improperly secured storage
- Flying debris from using power tools or defective machinery
- Collapsing equipment or structures, such as imbalanced filing cabinets
These are widespread incidents that put many workers at risk.
Do distractions increase these accidents?
As we discussed in a recent blog post, distractions are increasing the risk of accidents and injuries in the workplace. And distractions are one of the primary risk factors in struck-by-accidents nowadays.
If workers are not fully aware of their surroundings, they face an increased chance of running into objects or failing to see objects coming at them. Distractions that create this risk might not always include cellphones or technology. They might also include:
- Maintaining a conversation with a coworker that draws one’s attention away from their task; or
- Even external stressors preventing individuals from focusing on work.
Distractions are certainly not the only cause of these types of accidents. However, this is the risk factor that workers can control to reduce the chance of suffering an injury at work or in a struck-by accident. That considered, workers should understand that even if they are distracted, they likely do have Workers’ Compensation Claims to protect in the event they are injured. No matter how the injury occurred, should a worker experience injury on the job, it is always helpful to consult an experienced attorney.