The Focus Four: Caught-In/Between Hazards

When you are working on a construction site, you often have to squeeze yourself into some tight spaces. The fear of getting stuck in these spaces, or getting caught in machinery or equipment, is very real. Injuries caused by these hazards, called caught-in or between hazards, can be life-changing. Understanding what to look out for and how to prevent it from happening to you is crucial to preserving your safety.

Hazardous situations

Some examples of caught-in or between hazards include:
  • Cave-ins or trenching
  • Being pulled into or caught in machinery and equipment (this includes clothing)
  • Being stuck between rolling, sliding, or shifting objects
The number of fatalities involving caught-in and between hazards in the private construction industry has been decreasing since 2003, particularly in excavation and trench cave-ins. However, in 2008 there were still 92 fatalities caused by these hazards, so there is still work to be done to prevent these incidents from happening. In order to protect yourself from these situations, you first have to know what should be classified as a caught-in or between hazard. 

Prevention

Avoiding these situations is critical to your health and safety, and knowing prevention methods will help you do that. To prevent these hazards:
  • Use machinery that is properly guarded
  • Use other methods and procedures to make sure that your machinery is supported, secured, and safe
  • Use protection to avoid being pinned between equipment, materials, or other objects
  • Avoid working in unsafe excavations and enter the site only after it has been thoroughly inspected
  • Take advantage of any safety training opportunities you can
  • Take extra precaution before entering into tight spaces
Making these points a part of your routine on the job will help to protect you from the unsafe conditions that cause caught-in or between hazards.

What to do

An injury because of a caught-in or between hazard at work can change your life dramatically. If you have been affected by one of these hazards, call Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria. We have experienced attorneys in Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation, Social Security Disability, and Labor Law who are committed to working for you from beginning to end. We have been serving the labor community for over 50 years and we have the resources to face the insurance companies and get you the compensation you deserve.
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