Construction sites are, statistically speaking, some of the most dangerous places to work. One unusually common source of injury often seen on construction sites, but rarely elsewhere, is what is known as a “caught-in/between” accidents. What are these types of injuries, and why are they so common on construction sites?
Defining Caught-In/Between Accidents
The term “caught-in/between accidents” is used by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as a broad term for any injury that involves someone being crushed between, inside, or under heavy objects or machinery. This broad category includes a variety of different types of accidents, including:
- Having a limb caught in the moving parts of a machine
- Being caught under falling equipment or construction materials
- Being caught under rubble from demolition work
- Being caught under heavy machinery that tipped over
- Getting stuck in a collapsed trench or excavation site
The Dangers of Caught-In/Between Accidents
Unsurprisingly, caught-in/between accidents are exceptionally dangerous, especially for construction workers, who suffer them at twice the rate of all other professions. They are capable of causing a number of potentially debilitating injuries, including broken bones, muscle strain, and torn ligaments. Depending on the severity of the injury, it could result in permanent damage to limbs, traumatic brain injury, or even death.
However, the danger of caught-in/between accidents does not stop at the accident itself. Because many of these accidents occur in trenches and excavated areas, there is often the risk of being stuck in pools of water, or in proximity to dangerous chemicals. This means many caught-in/between accidents also involve the risk of drowning, smoke inhalation, acid burns, or poisoning.
Preventing Caught-In/Between Accidents
There are a few common ways of preventing caught-in/between accidents. The first, and most obvious, is to ensure there are proper warning signs in any locations where cave-ins or collapses are likely. It also means performing regular inspections to identify potential sources of instability, which can give forewarning of cave-ins and allow people to avoid these dangerous areas, preventing an accident before it happens.
In addition, it is important to train workers on proper safety procedures to avoid potential accidents with heavy machinery or materials. Good safety practices can lessen the risk of being caught in the workings of heavy machinery, and can make it less likely that machines or materials will tip over onto people. When construction site owners or contractors are negligent, they place workers at risk and make the risk of accidents much more likely.
The personal injury attorneys at Georgaklis & Mallas, PLLC are experienced in representing clients who have been seriously injured, and the surviving family members of those who have been fatally injured, as the result of construction accidents. The firm’s accomplished personal injury lawyers strive to secure full and fair compensation for their injured clients. With law offices conveniently located in Brooklyn and Manhattan, their personal injury lawyers can vigorously represent clients throughout the metropolitan area, including in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island, the Bronx, Queens, and New Jersey. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, please call (718) 238-2400 or fill out our contact form.