Rise in Caught-In and Caught-Between AccidentsApril 25, 2018
According to OSHA, caught-in and caught-between accidents are one of the top four leading causes of fatalities in the construction industry. The other three are electrical hazards, fall hazards, and struck-by hazards. These potentially life-threatening workplace accidents occur when a worker gets caught, crushed, pinched, or compressed between two or more objects.
Unfortunately, a recent report revealed that these serious, sometimes fatal accidents have been happening more frequently over the past several years. In fact, more workers have been fatally injured in caught-in/between accidents than any other construction accident.
Alarming Statistics of Caught-In/Between Injuries
The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) released a report which showed that the number of caught-in and caught-between fatalities in the construction industry increased by 33 percent from 2011 to 2015. This is seven percent more than the overall increase in fatal construction accidents during that same time period.
The number of construction workers who were killed in caught-in/caught-between accidents between 2011 and 2015 totaled 275, nearly 67 percent of whom were caught in, or crushed by a materials collapse. Ninety-three percent of the nonfatal accidents were caused by equipment and other objects.
The study also found that iron workers had the most fatalities, and older construction workers were at greater risk of being fatally injured in a caught-in/between accident, compared to younger workers. Workers who were under the age of 20 were at significant risk of being both fatally and non-fatally injured. Helpers had the highest rate of nonfatal injuries.
How to Avoid Caught-In/Between Accidents
Fortunately, many of these accidents are preventable, by using a little bit of common sense and enforcing strict safety protocols. The following tips can help workers avoid dangerous caught-in/caught-between accidents:
- Equipment safety: Do not use equipment if the protective guards are not in the correct position. Avoid wearing loose clothing or jewelry that can get caught in the machinery.
- Maintaining a safe distance: Keep a safe distance from the machine when you are not operating it. Before approaching a machine, make eye contact with the person operating it so that they know you are approaching.
- Recognizing potential hazards: Knowing the hazards beforehand will help you to be better able to avoid them. Make sure you are using the right protective gear for the job you are doing, and make the necessary changes if new hazards come up.
- Monitor movement of loads: When materials shift after being moved, workers can become trapped between the load and another structure. Keep a safe distance from the load, particularly when it is being moved.
- Use barricades to block unsafe areas: Always set up barricades in areas where pedestrian traffic is unsafe.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Compensation for Injured Workers
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a caught-in/between accident at work, you are urged to contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We understand how devastating these accidents can be and we will work tirelessly to protect your rights. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.