The brachial plexus is a network of nerves running from the spine, formed by the anterior rami of the lower four cervical nerves and first thoracic nerve (C5 to C8 and T1) This grouping of nerve fibers passes through the cervico-axillary canal within the neck to reach the axilla, and into the arm including the hand, innervating these regions.
An injury sustained to this region may result in paralysis of the arm, with loss of function and sensation.
- Falls (36%)
- Struck by falling object (10%)
- Electrocution (9%)
- Caught between object (2%)
Being struck by a falling object is a common injury that is responsible for 10% of the deaths and can result in severe injury to both person and property.
Most commonly, workers suffer bruises, fractures, strains and sprains of falling objects. These objects include small items such as fasteners and hand tools, but can be as large as roof trusses and steel beams.
There are two controls that can be used to help prevent workers being injured from falling objects:
If performing work over an open grating, place a non-slip plywood or similar product over the top of the grating to prevent small objects from falling through.
Guardrails physically prevent objects from falling bellow, and have a strict manufacture requirement to optimism safety.
Barricades may be used to block off exclusion zones bellow the area of work. When this is not practical, consider using overhead protective structures.
When required to move tools, equipment or material, always use an appropriately sized cart and make sure the cart has sides. If the item being moved extends over the side of the cart, make sure to secure the item and that the cart is stable.
A tool lanyard attaches the tool directly to the workers harness or tool belt. When used properly, they will prevent tools from falling.
When lifting or transporting a load, make sure it is balanced and secured. Ensure there are no loose pieces before lifting.
Good hoisting practices:
Never lift, lower or move objects over a person. Make use of barricades to block off areas where loads are being lifted or lowered. Always use the proper rigging procedures and ensure the rigging equipment is in a good condition.
Keep tools and other materials away from edges, railings or elevated surfaces. Stack materials on a flat surface, and be aware of your surroundings.
Proper Material stacking:
Store materials and equipment at least six feet away from an edge. Always secure the material and when required to remove an item, remember to re-secure the material.