Are you at risk of suffering a crush injury at your job?

| Jul 2, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

There are dangers associated with every job, but those involving cars or heavy machinery are particularly dangerous. Crush injuries, the broader category to which caught-in or struck by injuries belong, are particularly hazardous to workers’ health.

Manufacturing, warehouse, construction and meat processing workers are just some of the many types of employees who risk suffering a crush injury. You may find it helpful to learn why and what you might be able to do to minimize your risk of getting hurt if you work in one of these fields.

How common are crush injuries?

When it comes to workplace-related fatalities, being crushed or caught by something is the third leading cause of death.

How do struck-by and caught-in hazards differ?

Crush injuries can take place in various industries.

A struck-by hazard may result in impact that may alone result in deadly consequences, such as a life-threatening object colliding with an individual. Caught-in hazards are those that involve a person becoming trapped between one or more objects. Such a scenario can result in severe injuries such as suffocation resulting in death.

Which factors put workers most at risk by crush injuries?

Some of the hazards employees should be cautious around are machines with unguarded moving parts. These hazards can not only cause death but also result in someone’s body part ending up trapped in a machine. This may result in the need for amputation.

Workers must also be cautious around any materials that have a potential collapse or shift. Material even such as grain, dirt or prone objects can result in a worker becoming buried.

It’s also possible for a worker to become pinned between two moving or stationary objects, resulting in them becoming smothered, damaging internal organs and other injuries.

What can employers do to minimize their workers’ injury risks?

Employers can keep their workplaces safe by installing and requiring workers to use crushing guards at all times.

It’s critical that employers secure any equipment above workers’ heads with straps so that it doesn’t shift, collapse and fall.

Understanding your rights following an injury

California officials require almost every employer to have workers’ compensation coverage that their employees can tap into to cover their medical expenses and lost wages if they suffer injuries on the job. You may need to take further legal action if your employer denies you such coverage.