Too many mineworkers are injured or killed in accidents that could be described as “struck by” or Caught between” accidents. These accidents occur far too often in workplaces, especially considering how these incidents are so avoidable.
We would like to share some advice on how proper training of workers can avoid these common incidents.
Types of “struck by” accidents
There are two main types of "struck by" accidents:
- Those caused by moving vehicles, such as construction vehicles or forklifts, in industrial workplaces, and
- Those caused by falling objects, such as tools falling from workers on upper levels or by improperly stacked materials or unstable shelving.
Train operators of moving vehicles in your workplace to:
- Inspect vehicles before each shift to ensure their safe operating condition.
- Take particular care on steep grades or ramps that might cause a tip over.
- Never drive a vehicle in reverse gear with an obstructed rear view unless it has an audible reverse alarm or another worker signals that it is safe.
- Set parking brakes when vehicles and equipment are parked, and chock the wheels if the vehicle is on an incline.
- Never exceed a vehicle's rated load or lift capacity.
- Do not carry personnel unless there is a passenger seat and the rider is using a seat belt.
Alertness required when not operating vehicles
Workers who don't operate moving vehicles can protect themselves by being alert at all times. They also need to:
- Watch out for moving vehicles, especially at intersections or blind corners.
- Never assume that the driver has seen you—in a collision with a moving vehicle, the pedestrian will always be the loser.
- Before working near a door, post a warning sign or prop the door open. This is especially important if working from a ladder.
- Do not push a door open rapidly or forcefully. Someone may be on the other side.
Threat of Falling Objects
To prevent accidents caused by falling objects, train workers to:
- Stack materials carefully to prevent sliding, falling, or collapsing.
- Secure tools and materials to prevent them from falling on people below.
- Obey signs requiring hard hats even if you don't see signs of activity.
- Wear hard hats if there is any danger of something falling even if there are no warning signs posted.
Safety for workers operating Machinery
Machine workers also face these types of accidents. Train them to protect themselves by following these safety procedures:
- Never operate machinery without all guards in place.
- Know the danger areas of the machine, including the point of operation and the power transmission apparatus that can grab and injure body parts.
- Use proper lockout/tag out procedures when repairs or preventive maintenance is being performed.
- When walking near machinery, obey any posted warnings and stay clear of moving parts.
- Beware of being caught between moving parts of equipment like conveyors, scissor lifts, or backhoes.
[Info from Moolmans Mining]