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I’m Ron Wittmeyer. It’s a beautiful summer morning and you’re on a construction site doing a job you’ve done thousands of times before. You look up and you see a 70-foot steel beam coming loose from a crane. You don’t know where that beam is going, or what it’s going to hit. You just know that six and a half tons of steel is flying through the air and you turn and run for your life.

The OSHA Fatal Four

Here’s what you must know: incidents like this on construction sites are preventable. The OSHA Fatal Four, the four leading causes of construction worker deaths in this country, are responsible for 58% of all construction worker deaths. And the second of the Fatal Four is workers being struck by something on a construction site.

Common types of struck-by hazards

So, here are the common types of struck-by hazards on construction sites: struck by a flying object, struck by a falling object like a steel girder, struck by a swinging object like a swinging load from a crane, or struck by a rolling object like a rolling piece of equipment.


What can be done to protect construction workers from being struck by hazards? First, workers should always be wearing highly visible vests or clothing. Contractors and employers should always conduct an assessment of the job site, where all of the potential work site safety hazards are assessed.

Training and certification

All workers on the job site should have completed a documented safety orientation as well as training. Employers must ensure that all equipment is in safe operational condition based on regular inspections. Employers also must ensure that crane operators are qualified and certified according to OSHA standards.

In addition, companies and employers must ensure that all operators, signal persons, and riggers are trained and certified in doing their job properly and safely. Employers must also pay for the workers’ personal protection equipment. That’s required by OSHA.

Ladies and gentlemen, construction companies, employers, and workers. By following OSHA regulations and guidelines for safety precautions and safety training, struck-by hazards that injure or kill construction workers can be prevented. If you want to discuss any of this information, feel free to shoot me an email.

R.F. Wittmeyer

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