May Safety Tip
Being struck by an object is a common cause of serious workplace injuries and deaths. There are more than 50,000 “struck by falling object” OSHA recordables every year in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s one injury caused by a dropped object every 10 minutes.
To determine what kind of force an object falling from a certain height generates, calculations can be done around the physics of gravity. For example, an eight-pound wrench dropped 200 feet would hit with a force of 2,833 pounds per square inch – the equivalent of a small car hitting a one-square-inch area.
The causes include workplace violence, moving vehicles, forklifts, electricity, and moving or falling objects. Wearing a hard hat in workplaces where there is a possibility of being struck on the head by falling or swinging objects has been an essential safety requirement in many jobs for decades. Any time there is a risk of workers being struck by something or someone, employers need to assess the hazards, take steps to reduce or eliminate exposure to the hazard and train workers to be aware and be safe.