Construction continues to be the most dangerous profession in New York City, far surpassing any other type of work. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in every ten construction workers is injured. In total, approximately 150,000 construction workers are injured every year in the US. The four most common types of construction accidents are falls, electrocution, struck by and caught in or between injuries. While caught in or between injuries are among the least common of the four, they can be the deadliest. In the most recent statistic published, this type of accident alone caused 231 deaths among construction workers in 2020. Following are some examples of this type of accident, preventative measures and what you could do if you suffer a construction injury.
As horrifying as it may sound, a caught-in or between accidents occur when a worker is caught in or crushed by job-site equipment or gets trapped by a collapsing structure. These can be confused with “struck by” accident injuries. The key factor in making a determination between a Caught event and a Struck event is whether the impact of the object alone caused the injury. When the impact alone creates the injury, the event is a Struck by accident. When the injury is created more as a result of crushing injuries between objects, the event is a caught in or between accident. Staying extremely attentive is critical to avoid such a horrific accident.
Published Examples from OSHA of Caught In or Between Accidents:
- A worker was ripping a 6-inch piece of wood on an unguarded compound miter saw. His left thumb was caught in the saw and amputated
- An employee was performing diagnostic work on a water truck at a construction site. The worker crawled under the operating truck. The employee’s work shirt collar and coveralls became caught on a projecting set screw on the rotating pump shaft. The set screw pulled him into the pump shaft. The employee died en route to the hospital
- A worker climbed onto an I-beam to clean muck off the tail pulley of a conveyor belt attached to a separator. While the conveyor system was energized and in operation, the employee reached between the feed and return of the belt in front of the tail pulley with his hand to brush the muck off the belt. He was caught by the moving belt, and his hand and arm were pulled into a pinch point in the tail pulley. The employee’s arm was fractured
- A worker was in the bottom of a 9.5-foot-deep trench, setting grade for concrete pipe while the employer was installing additional shoring. During the shoring installation, the west wall at the south end of the excavation caved-in and covered the worker. There was no shoring or protective system at the location of the trench. The employee was dug out by coworkers and the fire department and survived
- An employee and a co-worker were working in a 9-foot-deep excavation installing water pipes, when the south side of the excavation caved in on the employee and buried him. The employee was killed
- Do not position your hands or other body parts near moving objects or between heavy equipment and an immovable object
- Do not wear long sleeves, jewelry, or other items that can get caught on or in moving objects
- Avoid getting in the swing radius of a rotating object
- Do not work in unprotected excavation areas or where water is accumulating
If you have been injured in any type of accident, dealing with medical, recovery, or other unwanted expenses can be emotionally and financially draining. Thus, it is recommended to consult with a professional construction lawyer who understands insurance practices and has the technical know-how to communicate with adjusters and get you the best compensation.
Rimland Law is an experienced law firm that has represented countless construction workers and by standers that have been injured in construction accidents. For over 40 years they have been tirelessly working to advocate for those that have been injured or killed in accidents across New York City. If you have been injured in a construction accident or any other type of accident, then you should call now for a free consultation. The professional construction accident lawyers at Rimland Law can let you know if you have a claim against any negligent parties that caused your injuries and can get you financial compensation.