If you work in a field in which employees regularly use heavy equipment or machinery, then you’re likely keenly aware that some work environments are more dangerous than others.
Crush injuries are some of the more serious ways in which workers may get hurt. Both of these can cause someone to suffer life-altering injuries and may also claim someone’s life. Learning more about how these accidents occur can help you avoid them.
How common are workplace crush injuries?
Two of the most common crush hazards are struck-by and caught-in incidents. These comprise the third leading cause of workplace deaths.
A worker may have something dropped on them in a struck-by incident. In contrast, an employee may find oneself stuck in between one or more objects, resulting in serious injuries or suffocation in a caught-in scenario.
How do crush injuries happen?
Employees must be careful when moving about around heavy machinery, especially if they have unguarded moving parts. These hazards can result in possible amputations if a worker’s body gets caught in the machine. It may also kill them.
Workers must also be careful when working around materials that may shift or collapse easily, including dirt or grain. A worker may become buried in these if they drop their load without checking to ensure no one is around first. It’s not uncommon for workers to become pinned between two stationary or moving objects as well.
How can employers minimize the chances of a crush injury occurring?
Employers should equip their machinery with control crush guards that protect workers from getting caught in it. They should instruct their workers not to remove these guards when operating machinery.
It’s also critical that employers not allow their employees to store equipment at elevated levels or in a way where it can shift, collapse or fall.
What can you do if you suffer a crush injury on the job?
The first step you’ll need to take after suffering a crush injury is receiving medical treatment right away. You should do so even if you think that you’re fine as you might have internal injuries.
Once you can, you have every right to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. If you’re having trouble getting the benefits you need and deserve, an attorney can help.