Workplace injuries are unfortunately a fairly common reality in the construction industry. Everything from slips and falls, to broken bones and head injuries are risks workers face nearly everyday on jobsites. Crush injuries, however, can be incredibly traumatic. In fact, each year workers suffer 125,000 caught-in or crushed-by injuries when body parts become caught between two objects or entangled in machinery.
Those who work in construction and industrial settings can be affected by potential crush hazards, so these workers should know what causes these workplace injuries and how to prevent them in the future.
Common Causes of Crush Injuries
Some of the most common causes of crush injuries include:
Working on machines with moving parts
Crush injury and amputation risks can be high for workers who work with or near machinery requiring a portion of a worker’s body to come in contact with a moving part. Machines like punch presses, brake presses, and power shear equipment are common in industrial settings, and they have the potential to cause a crush injury.
Collapse or fall of construction materials
Accidents where construction materials fall or collapse can result in crush injuries and related fatalities. For example, a scaffold collapse may cause a worker below to become crushed by the scaffold materials and braces. In addition to this, trench or excavation work can also create a serious crush hazard for workers. While hardhats may protect workers’ heads, they do not protect other vulnerable areas of the body.
Workers being run over by large equipment like bobcats or forklifts can also cause crushing injuries. These large pieces of equipment weight thousands of pounds and can cause fatal work injuries.
Contact with moving equipment
Crush injuries can occur when a moving object strikes a worker, or if the worker becomes pinned in between two objects. For instance, workers may become pinned or struck by power driven vehicles and machines during operations that require the loading or off-loading of materials.
Dangers of crush injuries
Crush injuries are most commonly caused by accidents in which someone gets trapped in a piece of equipment or machinery, a pedestrian or automobile accident, a transportation or industrial accident, or a natural disaster. Workplace crush injuries are generally incredibly serious and often fatal and can cause the following medical problems:
Crush injuries can disrupt blood flow, depriving delicate tissues of blood that depend on it for oxygen.
Crush injuries high infection risks, especially when tissue and muscle are damaged. When layers of skin are removed, this exposes deeper tissue to the elements and increases the risk of infection.
Compartment syndrome is a very serious complication that beings with immense pain, and then brings about swelling with blood, which can result in the area becoming paralyzed. This syndrome can lead to tissue and muscle death, and often requires amputation to correct it.
Also known as Bywater’s Syndrome, crush syndrome is a medical condition that causes major shock to the organs and renal failure. Symptoms of crush syndrome can begin to show within an hour following the incident.
Protecting Against Workplace Injuries
Workers who suffer crush injuries on the job can suffer long-term problems, including the inability to return to work and financial hardships for workers and their families. Because of this, it is crucial to have your accident evaluated by an experienced workplace injury lawyer who can determine the liability of all parties involved. Parties like property owners, contractors, and subcontractors can potentially be held liable for resulting damages if a crush or other work injury occurs due to their negligence.
At Ramsey Law Group, we understand what workplace accidents can occur and the complexities that come with handling these claims in litigation. If you or someone you know suffered an accident due to poor workplace conditions, contact Ramsey Law Group today for a free consultation.