Prevent Construction Struck-By Fatalities by Implementing Proper Safety Techniques

One in four “struck by vehicle” deaths involve construction workers, more than any other occupation.

Struck-by incidents contributed to 804 construction worker fatalities from 2011 to 2015, the most of any major industry, according to a recent article from Safety & Health Magazine

Vehicles Causing the Most Backover Fatalities 2005-2010+

Dump Truck 67
Semi/Tractor Trailer 40
Truck 30
Forklift 21
Garbage Truck 20
Pick-up Truck 16

+OSHA Integrated Management Information System data

Fifty-two percent of the fatalities involved workers struck by an object or equipment; the remaining deaths involved workers struck by vehicles, the report states.

Other findings:

  • 57 percent of the struck-by vehicle fatalities occurred in work zones.
  • 114 deaths were the result of being struck by passenger vehicles, and 112 workers died after being struck by trucks.
  • Highway, street and bridge workers accounted for 264 of the 804 construction fatalities during the period.
  • Construction workers 65 and older experienced the highest rate of struck-by fatalities.
  • Highway maintenance workers, power line installers, and excavating or loading machine operators experienced the most struck-by fatalities.

“Struck-by … deaths are preventable,” the report states. “Training (OSHA, 2011), personal protective equipment, engineering controls, safety protocols and other solutions may be implemented to prevent struck-by injuries among construction workers.”

Download the full report here.

Know the Risks

Back-over accidents can happen for a variety of reasons.

  • Drivers may not be able to see a worker in their blind spot.
  • Workers may not hear backup alarms because of other worksite noises or because the alarms are not functioning.
  • A spotter assisting one truck may not see another truck behind him.
  • Workers riding on vehicles may fall off and get backed over.
  • Drivers may assume that the area is clear and not look in the direction of travel.

Implement a Safety Plan

OSHA’s website provides various methods to use that could help prevent such accidents from happening:

  • Spotters – Using a spotter to help drivers back up their vehicles
  • Cameras – Used to help drivers see what is behind them
  • Proximity Detection Devices -To alert drivers to objects behind them with a visual and/or audio warning
  • Internal Traffic Control Plans – Help to coordinate the flow of moving equipment, workers, and vehicles at a worksite to minimize or eliminate vehicles and employees from crossing paths
  • Tag-based Systems – This system consists of electromagnetic field generators and field detecting devices. These can be worn by people and installed on vehicles to alert a person and driver of proximity
  • Training – Initiate a combination of computer-based and on-site training programs to assist employees understand the environment and be cognizant of where potential blind spots can occur.

Get the Proper Training

UASC offers professional OSHA compliant health & safety training for businesses and industries in the New England and Tri-State regions.

Using digital reference photography, videos, hands-on materials and PowerPoint in our training programs we ensure that your staff and managers leave with the knowledge that safety is a top priority and have a thorough understanding of the material presented to them.

For your convenience, we offer training at our headquarters, or onsite at your facility or job site.

View our course offerings here