The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says over 50,000 construction workers nationwide, including in California, suffer injuries from being struck by objects on building sites every year. Even something as small as a nut or a bolt falling from an elevated work area can cause a severe or fatal injury. However, precautions can be taken to prevent such workplace injuries.
Although the ideal is not to have activities going on below scaffolds and other areas where work is done at heights, that is not always practical. All workers must wear hard hats, and installing a safety net between two work levels to catch any dropped tools or falling objects will further prevent injuries. Having toe boards installed at elevated levels can prevent objects sliding off the work surface, and tethering tools with lanyards is another precaution that could be effective.
Awareness also plays an essential role in preventing struck-by injuries. Erecting barricades around the areas below workers at elevated levels can keep others out of the danger zone. It can serve as a reminder to wear hard hats for those who cannot avoid that area. Safety authorities say any dropped object pose injury hazards, even a cup of hot coffee that falls off a filing cabinet. They urge employers and employees to keep a lookout for areas and objects that are potential hazards and to address them immediately to mitigate the danger.
California workers who fall victim to workplace injuries might experience anxiety over the mounting medical bills and lost wages if they are unable to return to work immediately. Fortunately, the state-regulated workers' compensation insurance program is there to provide benefits that typically cover medical expenses along with a financial package to make up for a portion of lost wages. Injured workers are free to utilize the services of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to help with the navigation of the complicated claims process.