Struck-by Incidents (Construction)

With all of the moving equipment, flying debris, and falling objects on a construction site it can be a very dangerous place for an individual on the ground. It is important to understand the specific hazards of the work for that day as well as the job site overall as ground personnel who will be on the job site.

Furthermore, everyone needs to work together to eliminate or mitigate the hazards that result in struck-by incidents.


Struck-by incidents are one of the biggest risks to ground personnel on any construction site. These incidents were responsible for 8.1% of all fatalities in the construction industry in 2014. There are many struck-by hazards on every construction site that can severely injure or kill workers on any given day. Common struck-by hazards include moving equipment, falling objects, and flying debris.

Safeguards to Prevent Struck-by Incidents:

  1. Eliminate as many struck-by hazards due to equipment as possible. For example, does a piece of equipment or vehicle need to be operating in an area where there are pedestrians? Can unnecessary backing be eliminated? Can the worker on the ground wait to complete the task they were assigned to do or complete it somewhere else away from moving equipment?
  2. Eliminate the potential for falling objects. Remove materials or tools that are located on an elevated level when possible. If elimination is not possible then make sure there is proper toe boards located on any elevated surfaces to prevent objects from sliding off. Another option is to tie off tools and materials to ensure they do not fall to a lower level.
  3. Barricade work zones to prevent entry where equipment is operating or there is work overhead being completed. Substantial barricades such as fences will help prevent ground personnel from entering an area where they could be injured.
  4. Barricade or separate any work tasks that create flying debris. For example, workers should not be exposed to grinding operations or operations that create excessive dust, like cutting concrete, if they are not the ones completing the task.


It is difficult to fully eliminate the hazards that result in struck-by incidents, but proper planning and work zone delineation can help to eliminate exposure to these risks. Evaluate your work tasks to see if there are any unnecessary risks to ground personnel due to the mentioned hazards above.

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