Struck-by injuries are produced by forceful contact or impact between the injured person and an object or piece of equipment. In comparison, a caught-in or between incident occurs when an injury is a result of the crushing force between two objects. For example, if a person’s hand is pulled into a conveyor and suffers an injury due to being pulled in and caught between the rollers.

Sources of struck-by accidents include:

  • Equipment or vehicles moving in the work zone.
  • Falling tools, equipment or materials.
  • Operating tools or equipment.
  • Moving or lifting unsecured loads.

Vehicle and equipment traffic operating within the project including dump trucks, paving equipment, rollers, and other heavy equipment create a struck-by hazard for contractors working within the project. The equipment’s large size and height creates blind spots for the operator that can extend greater than 10 feet outside the perimeter of the vehicle or equipment.

Important safety measures include:

  • Don’t walk in front, along the side or behind vehicles or equipment when they are moving.
  • Maintain a three-foot perimeter around all equipment. Equipment could move suddenly.
  • Don’t allow work activity to overlap. No work activity should take place within the swing radius of excavation equipment.
  • When one piece of equipment is lifting or putting materials or tools in place, do not place your hands on, or manually guide, the load. Use a tag line.
  • Secure tools, equipment and material to prevent them from falling from heights.
  • Inspect saws, grinders and other tools before use to make sure the guards are in place, the blades aren’t chipped or cracked and are in overall good condition.
  • When you are using saws, grinders and other powered hand tools, always wear safety glasses and a face shield.
  • Coordinate work activity to minimize the possibility for people to be near overhead work activity or moving equipment.

Download a printable PDF and recording form here.

Members can download the audio version of this toolbox talk here.

Ladder Safety

Falls are a leading cause of death in the construction industry, and the misuse of ladders is one of the leading causes of fall-related injuries each year. Contributing factors may include haste, sudden movement, lack of attention, the condition of the ladder, the type of footwear worn and the user’s age and/or physical condition.

According to national data analyzed by researchers at an Ohio hospital, more than 2.1 million people were treated in hospital emergency rooms between 1990 and 2005. That averages out to more than 136,000 cases a year. Almost 10 percent of those 2.1 million people required hospitalization, about twice the overall admission rate for consumer product related injuries. Fractures were the most common injury, with legs and feet the most frequently injured body parts.

A ladder is a potentially dangerous tool. Misusing that tool can lead to severe injury, even death. Luckily, basic safety rules that apply to most tools also apply to the safe use of ladders. Here are a few things to do prior to getting on a ladder:

  • Inspect the ladder to confirm it is in good working condition. Do not use a ladder with loose or missing parts, or a rickety ladder that sways or leans to the side.
  • Select the proper size ladder for the job. Ensure the length of the ladder is sufficient so the climber does not have to stand on the top rung or step.
  • Lock, block open or guard doors that can be opened toward a ladder.
  • Wear slip-resistant shoes with heavy soles, and clean the soles to maximize traction.
  • Read the safety information labels on the ladder.

Use common sense when setting a ladder up for use:

  • Place the ladder on firm, level ground and ensure no slippery condition is present at either the base or top support points.
  • Extend the ladder base back one foot for every four feet in height, and three feet above the surface. Tie off the ladder at the top.
  • Ensure two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand are touching the ladder.
  • Use your utility belt – not your hands – to carry tools or materials up a ladder.
  • Make sure the bottom of the ladder is secure.


Table 1
Type Capable of Supporting Related Use
TYPE 1AA 375 lbs. Extra Heavy Duty Industrial
TYPE 1A 300 lbs. Extra Heavy Duty Industrial
TYPE 1 250 lbs. Heavy Duty Industrial
TYPE 11 225 lbs. Medium Duty Commercial
TYPE 111 200 lbs. Light Duty Household


Worker injury can be minimized by following basic safety rules, using common sense and approaching ladder safety with the same caution as any other potentially dangerous tool.