How do crush injuries happen?

If you work in the construction industry in St. Paul, your working conditions as well as the tools of your trade serve as constant reminders that yours is one of the most dangerous occupations in America. There are many different scenarios that you may encounter on the job site that could put you and others in jeopardy. Crush injuries rank among those whose dangerous potential is likely the least appreciated. Despite being listed among the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s “Fatal Four,” crush accidents and their causes are still largely under-researched and unanticpated by employers.

Crush accidents are those that involve the crushing of extremities, limbs or (in some cases) an entire body. Those that do not result in death could leave you needing to have an affected limb amputated or extensive reconstructive surgery (both of which can be costly in terms of money and recovery time). Most crush injuries occur in the one of the following three scenarios:

  • The fall or collapse of building materials: This may include a structural collapse or the caving in of a trench during excavation work.
  • Being caught in-between equipment: When working in tight confines, it is easy to become caught in between the ground or a wall and a forklift, excavator or other piece of heavy equipment.
  • Coming into contact with moving machine parts: Loose articles of clothing can quickly become caught in a press or shearing equipment, pulling limbs or even a person in between moving parts of a functioning machine.

Exercising added caution can help to prevent crush injuries, yet your employer also has the responsibility to educate you and your coworkers on the potential of such hazards, as well as to have resources on hand to help deliver swift and immediate care should you suffer such an injury.

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