A "striking against" event occurs when there is forcible contact or impact between an individual and an object or piece of equipment that creates an injury. In a study of ALMA claims from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2019, "striking against" injuries made up 5.5% of the claim count and 2.9% of the total incurred cost of claims.
These percentages may seem small, but the individual occurrence could be substantial. Consider this example: an individual with pre-existing knee conditions is working on or in a vessel and the worker strikes his knee against a stationary object such as a bulkhead or doorway. This could translate into a serious injury with a long recovery time.
Striking Against Injuries: What are the Exposures?
Striking against injuries often result from:
- Striking a body part against a permanent or stationary object
- Jumping from one level to another and landing on a stationary object
- Sudden stop or jolt of machinery causing the operator to strike against the interior of the machine
- Lack of situational awareness. Rushed, and/or distracted, unfamiliar work environment, poor planning, cell phone or two way radio use, failure to recognize hazards due to poor training or lack of experience, poor attitude, walking with vision obstructed, poor lighting, poor housekeeping, working in strike back zone when mooring.
- Failure to wear seat belt (especially important when operating industrial vehicles). No seatbelt policy, substandard equipment, accountability (lack of supervisor enforcement, employee with poor safety attitude who does not care to comply)
- Substandard protective clothing/equipment. Poor PPE (no work boots, hard hat, eye protection, protective hearing device, shorts allowed, wearing short sleeves when long sleeves required, failure to wear correct gloves
- Improper use of hand tools. Tool not being used for its intended purpose, using tool in incorrect manner, failure to inspect, using damaged tool, lack of safety awareness, body not positioned in a way that will prevent a loss of balance should the tool slip or something (e.g., a bolt) suddenly breaks loose unexpectedly.
Exclusive for ALMA Members: Striking Against Resource Site
As part of our monthly Safety Focus initiative, the ALMA member resource website has a page providing safety resources related to "striking against" hazards. Resources include:
- OSHA guidance
- Striking Against Quick Cards
- Safety bulletins