The near accident: A New York State Department of Transportation worker started sand blasting a bridge in preparation for painting. Although it’s a departmental rule that hard hats must be worn, the job circumstances seemed safe. He wasn’t under traffic, nor was he under an overhead hazard. But several feet away from the worker, a steel hatch suddenly blew off the top of the pressure blasting equipment. The 100-pound hatch flew through the air and struck the worker square on the top of his head.