Construction sites involve a lot of work involving dangerous vehicles and equipment. Because of this, construction workers can suffer a number of debilitating injuries. They may miss work for weeks while they recover, or their injuries may be severe enough that they suffer disability and cannot return to their old job. Some construction injuries can even be fatal.
Construction jobsites can produce caught-in, caught-between hazards. These dangers, posed by the dangerous interaction of machinery and construction workers, are preventable if workers understand how they may occur. Safety and Health Magazine explains what these hazards are and how to avoid them.
Caught between objects
A construction worker can suffer a severe or deadly injury by a piece of machinery or a vehicle pinning the worker against another piece of machinery or a stationary object like a wall. This kind of scenario can happen because of the use of forklifts or cranes on a construction site. A forklift driver might not see a worker and drive too close to the worker, or a piece of equipment may slide on mud or an unstable surface and pin a worker.
Caught in machinery
Sometimes workers can get caught inside machinery. Bulldozers and cranes may catch a worker in their wheels or treads. A worker might become trapped by a bulldozer blade. Heavy equipment may catch a worker while in operation. Workers may become caught by their clothing or parts of their bodies. An accident severe enough can sever a limb from a worker.
Workplaces should use proper safety protocols to prevent such injuries from occurring. These may include training workers to recognize when unsafe conditions are present, erecting barricades to protect workers, training workers to stop vehicles, and to turn off equipment when not in use. Such measures may reduce the risk of injury, though some construction workers may still suffer injury and need compensation for their medical bills.