Data compiled by researchers at Simplify Compliance LLC shows that crush injuries account for the third-highest job-related fatality rates in the U.S. These fall into two primary categories, either “caught-in” or “struck-by” injuries.
Some accidents are more common in specific industries over others. Individuals working in meat processing, sanitation or manufacturing roles may be more vulnerable to suffering caught-in injuries. In contrast, those employed in warehouse or construction fields may be at a higher risk for struck-by injuries. You must understand the dangers that you face to avoid a potentially catastrophic incident.
What’s the difference between struck-by and caught-in injuries?
Struck-by incidents are those in which a heavy or forceful object makes contact with an individual. Someone who gets stuck between items risks bone fractures, internal organ damage and potential suffocation.
A caught-in injury is one in which a body part gets stuck inside of something. It can result in an amputation.
Which workers must be most worried about struck-by or caught-in injuries?
Any employee employed in a role that requires them to operate or work around heavy machinery should worry about suffering struck-by injuries, especially if it flips over or its operator ignores where it’s going.
Those who work around equipment with unguarded moving parts must worry about getting hurt in caught-in accidents.
Anyone employed at a construction site or any other job site that receives heavy loads like grain or dirt must also worry about having the load dropped on them, crushing them beneath.
What can workers do to minimize their struck-by or caught-in injury risk?
Employers can minimize their workers’ struck-by injury risk by requiring their employees to re-check their loads to ensure that they are secure. They can also direct their workers to store their equipment to minimize its chances of shifting and falling.
They can also minimize their employees’ chances of suffering a caught-in injury by not removing the safety guards on their equipment.
What to do if you’ve suffered a caught-in or struck-by injury on the job
Illinois law requires most Wheaton employers to maintain workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employees’ medical costs, lost wages and other related expenses if they get hurt on the job. An attorney will want to know more about your employment situation and your work-related incident before advising you what benefits you may be eligible for in your case.