An accident I recently heard about that took place in Malaysia reminds me of why falling debris can present such a risk on building sites. Two passing motorists were injured when the car they were driving was crushed by falling debris from a Subangjaya construction site.
Apparently several metal rods were being lifted by a crane when they came crashing down and onto the vehicle of the 2 men.
The following excerpt from TheStar.com explains:
SUBANG JAYA: Two motorists were injured when the Honda Civic car they were travelling in was crushed by falling construction debris.
Petaling Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Azmi Abu Kassim said the incident occured at around 9am today.
“The Honda car was travelling along Jalan Lapangan Terbang Subang when several metal rods hoisted by a crane fell on the car.
Not only do these types of incidents have direct impacts, they also have indirect consequences some times. In this case a second vehicle hit into the rear of the Honda, causing even more damage and injury as the following excerpt explains:
“A Nissan Van then hit the Honda from the rear,” he said adding that the man and woman in the Honda car suffered multiple injuries and was taken to the Sime Darby Medical Centre for treatment.
It was learnt that the crane was hoisting the metal rods for construction of one of the beams for the LRT project there.
He said the driver of the van escaped without injury.
Images show the metal beam that crashed into the passing car and injured passenger.
Construction safety netting is just one of the ways that site controllers can address the hazard of falling objects on construction sites.
Generally workers are at risks from falling objects when they are beneath cranes, scaffolds, etc., or where overhead work is being performed. There is a danger from flying objects when power tools, or activities like pushing, pulling, or prying, may cause objects to become airborne. Injuries can range from minor abrasions to concussions, blindness, or death but as this incident proves, workers aren’t the only ones at risk. Site controllers also have a responsibility to ensure that members of the public aren’t exposed to this hazard either.
A hazard identification and risk assessment should be conducted and the proper hierarchy of controls followed, but some of the general tips which should apply of every construction site include:
- Everyone on site should wear hardhats.
- Workers should be trained to stack materials to prevent sliding, falling, or collapse.
- Site controllers must implement such protective measures as toe-boards and debris nets.
Another major concern is presented by loads being lifted by cranes. Employers must ensure that:
- Workers avoid working underneath loads being moved.
- Hazard areas are barricaded and warning signs are posted
- Cranes and hoists are inspected to see that all components, such as wire rope, lifting hooks, chains, etc., are in good condition.
- Operators and workers do not exceed lifting capacity of cranes and hoists.