If you look at any list of the most common workplace injuries, you'll likely see "contact with objects" near the top. This may sound rather innocuous, but it includes a host of injuries -- many of which can be serious and even fatal.
"Contact with objects" includes being:
- Struck by an object
- Struck against an object
- Caught in equipment or other object
- Caught in something that collapses
Injuries in the first category, known as "struck-by" accidents are often fatal when they involve cranes or other heavy equipment. Construction workers are at significant risk, but so are first responders, agriculture and manufacturing workers.
Many of these accidents are preventable. They're often caused by faulty equipment, lack of training, inadequate workplace assessments and poor housekeeping. Sometimes, workers who are distracted or not following safety protocols are at fault.
Business owners, managers and supervisors need to provide the safest possible environment for their employees. No one should ever be allowed to operate equipment they aren't trained to use or to work without the appropriate safety gear, clothing and footwear.
Employees can help protect their own safety and that of their co-workers by taking precautions like:
- Carefully securing objects and loads -- particularly those that are heavy, high off the ground and/or on a moving piece of equipment
- Making sure that all of your equipment's safety devices are working.
- Staying behind any moving equipment as much as possible and making eye contact with the operator if you're approaching.
- Making sure your vision isn't obstructed. That includes being careful near doorways and corners
If you're injured at work or if a loved one has been killed, it's essential to seek the benefits you need and deserve. An experienced attorney can help you do that.