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Struck-by Hazards Are a Leading Cause of Fatal, Nonfatal Construction Injuries, CPWR Says

Aug 11, 2017

 © Julia_Shumenko/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Struck-by hazards were a leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries in construction from 2011 to 2015, says a new quarterly data report from The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR). During this time period, 804 construction workers died from struck-by injuries, which is more than any other major industry, the report says.

The most struck-by injuries, with 804 incidents, occurred in the construction industry, the report says, followed by the agriculture industry with 727 incidents. According to the report, between 2011 and 2015, struck-by injuries increased by 2.5%. 

About half, or 52%, of the struck-by fatalities were incidents caused by being struck by an object or equipment, and 48% were caused from being struck by a vehicle, says CPWR, which examined data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, and other sources. In agriculture, however, most of the workers died from being struck by an object or equipment. Masonry contractors had the highest rate of struck-by object injuries among the construction industry’s subsectors, CPWR says, with 48.2 nonfatal injuries per 10,000 workers in 2015.

The rate of fatal struck-by injuries among highway maintenance workers dipped from 23 to 8.2 fatalities per 100,000 highway maintenance workers between 2011 and 2013. From 2013 to 2015, however, this rate increased from 8.2 to 17.6 fatalities per 100,000 highway maintenance workers, CPWR says. The report says that on average, approximately 14 highway maintenance workers died of struck-by injuries per year between 2011 and 2015.

In addition to year-to-year data fluctuations due to relatively small death numbers, CPWR says that increased traffic volume and distracted driving could be partially responsible for the increased death numbers of highway maintenance workers from 2013 to 2015. 

According to the report, construction workers age 65 or older experienced the highest rate of struck-by fatalities, while workers under age 20 had the highest rate of nonfatal struck-by injuries.

“Struck-by injuries and deaths are preventable,” CPWR says. The report provides a table that lists solutions, which include safety standards and regulations, engineering controls, proper PPE, and safety and health training, that when implemented, “can greatly reduce unnecessary deaths” due to struck-by injuries, CPWR says.

Originally published Aug. 11, 2017.


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