Preventing Crush Injuries in the Workplace

Posted on May 17, 2021

Workplace crush injuries that cause severe injury, disability, and death can be prevented by providing workers with proper safety equipment.

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Crush Injuries in the Workplace

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), crush injuries are a leading cause of workplace deaths, especially for workers in certain occupations. Each year, crush injuries cause the deaths of 7.2 percent of all U.S. construction workers and contribute to a high rate of additional deaths for industrial warehouse and shipping workers.

Workers that work around heavy moving equipment and heavy machinery are especially vulnerable to severe crush injuries and fatalities. Every year, crush injuries account for about 26 percent of workplace injuries seen by workers comp lawyers. Crush injuries often happen when workers get trapped or pinned between heavy equipment, machinery, or large objects that fall from heights. Severe injuries include:

  • Severed nerves, muscles, and tendons
  • Broken and crushed bones
  • Limb amputations
  • Internal bleeding and organ damage
  • Spinal damage and/or paralysis
  • Traumatic head and brain damage

Severe crush injuries are common among workers who regularly work around heavy moving equipment like forklifts, bulldozers, cranes, and hydraulic lifts. Workers comp lawyers witness a high rate of injuries and deaths for construction workers and industrial workers.

Forklifts

Forklifts are commonly used on construction sites and in industrial plants and warehouses to transport heavy loads. If a forklift tips over or pins a worker between objects, crushed limbs, and internal injuries can lead to severe shock, bleeding, and death.

Bulldozers

Workers operating bulldozers and front-end loaders often suffer crush injuries when the bulldozer or loader overturns or falls off a jack stand. The average weight of a small bulldozer is 17,400 pounds, about 6 times heavier than the average car.

Cranes

Construction workers and crane riggers suffer crush injuries and deaths from heavy falling objects. Workers comp lawyers see broken and crushed bones, limb amputations, and traumatic brain injuries from heavy pallets, metal pipes, and steel beams that fall from cranes.

Hydraulic Lifts

Warehouse workers and auto mechanics working with hydraulic lifts often get caught between the arm of the hydraulic lift and the ground, if the lift fails. Crushed bones and mangled limbs are common in hydraulic lift accidents.

Illinois workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for work-related injuries to cover medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages. OSHA requires all employers to provide safe work environments with adequate safety equipment to prevent workplace accidents, injuries, and deaths.