When moving loads overhead on a job site, there is the risk that objects will come loose, fall and injure workers on the ground. In fact, injuries in which workers are struck by objects are among the four most common types of injuries in the industry.
That doesn’t mean these serious accidents can’t be prevented. There are three key things employees must do to stay safe.
1. Secure the loads properly.
It does take extra time to tie the load down and cover it with a tarp or plastic wrap, but employees should never move unsecured loads, even over a short distance. The time saved is simply not worth the risk.
2. Warn other workers.
Accidents happen when employees on the ground aren’t aware that something is being moved over their heads. If warning is provided well in advance, they can leave the potential injury zone until the move is complete. This way, even if there is an accident — a strap breaks and the load falls, for example — no one will be hurt.
3. Use proper tactics to move the load.
Employees must be well trained and understand how to safely move a load. For instance, they may need to work with a spotter who can warn other employees to stay out of the danger zone until the move is done. It may be wise to schedule moves for early morning or evening hours, when fewer workers are on the site.
Being careful does take time, and a lot of employers encourage workers to rush or ignore safety regulations to get jobs done faster. When this happens and leads to a serious accident, those who are injured need to know their legal options.
Source: Safety Services Company, “Six step to prevent injuries from falling objects,” Mike Rich, accessed Sep. 18, 2017