Struck By Object Hazards

January 19, 2024
Struck by object hazards safety training image

Employers have a duty to provide a safe work environment for employees. That includes compliance with OSHA rules, providing safety training, and making safety a top priority – from the CEO to the newest hire. However, there are things employees can do, as well, to stay safer at work.

There are many things vying for our attention every day and a lack of focus on the task at hand can lead to tragedy, especially in riskier situations.

One of the leading causes of work-related deaths is contact with objects. This could include:

  • Being struck against an object
  • Being struck by an object
  • Being caught in an object or equipment
  • Being caught in collapsing material
  • Objects that fall, roll, fly, slide, slip and swing

Construction workers who are hit by building materials, vehicles slipping off of jacks, loggers struck by trees – all have a high fatality rate, but all are preventable.

According to OSHA, about 75% of struck-by fatalities involve heavy equipment, such as trucks or cranes. The National Safety Council’s (NSC) Injury Facts reports there have been about 700 workplace deaths due to these types of incidents every year for the past decade — and hundreds of thousands of injuries involve days away from work each year.

Paying attention is extremely important for those operating machinery, as well as those working around it. The NSC offers some additional tips that employers and employees can use to help prevent injury from contact with objects:

  • Check vehicles before use to make sure they are in safe operating condition
  • Securely and neatly store loose materials
  • Secure items that are stored at a height
  • Store heavy objects close to the floor
  • Open one filing cabinet drawer at a time to prevent a tip-over
  • Wear the proper personal protective equipment for your environment, such as steel-toed shoes and a hard hat
  • Always walk behind forward-moving equipment, if possible
  • Never obstruct your vision by overloading moving equipment
  • Only operate equipment you are properly trained to use
  • Make sure all safety devices on your equipment are in good working order before use
  • Use extra caution around corners and near doorways
  • When large equipment is being operated, always make eye contact with the operator before approaching
  • Secure all loads and lift them evenly to prevent them from slipping

When employees are proactive and employers provide proper education on job-specific hazards, conduct safety assessments, address gaps and provide corrective action, the risk of being struck by an object at work is dramatically reduced.

Credit: National Safety Council

To learn more about various safety topics, listen to new episodes of Leading Safely™ | A HazTek Podcast here: and sign up for our newsletter by contacting us at or visiting

Learn more about HazTek Safety & OSHA Training.