Job site safety is everyone’s responsibility, particularly when working around heavy equipment. There are a lot of safety techniques you could employ to protect yourself when working around heavy equipment, but this simple tactic is the most important to know.
Practice the art of making good eye contact. Making good eye contact with equipment operators is the most reliable and effective method to reduce struck by incidents on the job site. It is not enough to assume that just because you were wearing fluorescent colors that you will be seen. Making eye contact with an operator before you proceed helps ensure that the operator sees and acknowledges your presence.
What is a ‘Struck-By’ Accident?
A Struck-By Accident can be defined by any incident where a worker or employee is hit by a rolling, flying, or swinging object. The size of the object does not matter, it can be as large as a crane, or as small as a pencil. If the worker is injured as a result of being hit by any moving object while the worker is stationary, then it can be classed as a struck-by incident.
OSHA estimates that about 75% of all struck-by deaths on the job site involve the use of heavy equipment such as backhoes, excavators, and cranes. All of the heavy equipment mentioned in most cases will have an operator that may not see you. It is critical to your safety to make eye contact with the operator to ensure he or she sees you before you proceed to enter the swing radius of a crane, backhoe, or excavator.
Here is a handy PDF guide that OSHA has put together with more information regarding Struck By Incidents and Prevention.