Being caught between objects or machinery is one of the top “fatal four” causes of construction workers’ deaths. These accidents are ones where workers are squeezed, crushed, caught, pinched, or compressed between two objects or parts of two objects or buried—such as in a collapsing building or trench. Operating equipment, mashing objects, two or more moving objects, and one moving and one stationary object—such as a semi-trailer and a brick wall, a forklift that tips and the floor, and a truck frame and a lowering hydraulic bed—can all pose serious dangers to employees.
Seven Causes of Caught-Between Accidents
Workers can be injured when caught between objects or machinery in a number of ways. Common ways these dangerous accidents occur include:
- If machinery is not properly guarded or is not locked down when being repaired or not in use, the machinery can accidentally turn on and workers can get their clothes or body parts caught between the machinery.
- Machinery that is used unsafely can tip, causing workers to be trapped between the heavy equipment and another object, wall, or the ground.
- If trenches and excavation sites are not properly supported, workers can be buried when they crumble.
- Walls not braced properly and jacks that are not placed on a firm foundation or secured once the load is raised can cause a building or part of it to collapse, crushing construction workers.
- Scaffolds that are not constructed or braced properly can fall down, crushing workers in the rubble.
- If machinery is not repaired and maintained, it can malfunction and trap workers in deadly accidents.
- When employees are not trained in the safe use of machinery and equipment and how to avoid some of the hazards of construction jobs, they are injured or killed in preventable accidents.
Construction workers injured in caught-between accidents can suffer catastrophic injuries requiring expensive and long-term medical care and that can result in their permanent disability. Some of these injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Amputation of limbs
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Muscle and tendon sprains, strains, and tears
If you or a family member is a construction worker who was in a workplace accident caused by your employer, start an online chat to schedule a free consultation to learn how our experienced legal team can help you.