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Construction Crush Injuries: An Unavoidable Job Hazard?

To avoid placing yourself between a heavy object and the ground is to follow a basic human instinct. But construction workers routinely make their living by putting themselves in dangerous situations. They must rely on their coworkers and reliable equipment to escape unscathed. Sadly, accidents do occur.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 80 fatal construction crush accidents occur each year. That tally doesn’t include those who suffer devastating, nonfatal injuries like paralysis.

A recent accident in the Bronx reveals the significant threat that crushing accidents bring to job sites.

In that fatal accident, a 62-year-old man was crushed by a 2,700-pound battery as it was unloaded from a truck. The battery tumbled out of its crate and landed on the electrical contractor’s head. Nobody else was hurt.

This type of accident may occur due to one or more reasons, including:

  • The load/object is improperly secured
  • The load capacity of the lifting equipment (crane, forklift, etc.) is exceeded
  • Equipment failure, such as a snapped cable
  • Victim is improperly positioned during loading or unloading

When falling objects accidents cause death, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) often investigates and issues a report outlining the cause.

Source: NY Daily News, “MTA Contractor Dies After Being Crushed By Industrial-Sized Battery In The Bronx,” Edgar Sandoval, Aug. 5, 2014

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