Construction workers often have to deal with more physical risks than other workers due to the nature of their job.
Crush injuries are one of these unique risks. But what exactly are crush injuries and how serious are they?
How and where do they happen?
Up To Date discusses the impact of crush injuries on victims. Crush injuries can take many forms and come from many incidents, but they typically involve a large and/or heavy object compressing or crushing some or all of a person’s body.
These injuries often occur outside of the field of construction as well, most notably in car crashes or during natural disasters like hurricanes or earthquakes.
However, they can happen in the field of construction due to the presence of many pieces of heavy machinery, equipment and vehicles.
For example, some crush injuries that can happen in construction include a truck accidentally running over a worker’s foot, someone placing their hand between crushing gears in a conveyor belt, or scaffolding collapsing and falling on someone.
Typical types of crush injuries
Crush injuries typically impact a victim’s torso or trunk, or limbs. In some cases, both may be impacted in a whole-body crush incident.
These areas of the body typically carry different risks. For example, crush injuries to the limbs often result in the risk of necrosis, sepsis and the possibility of amputation. Meanwhile, crush injuries to the trunk carry risks of organ failure.
Almost every crush injury carries the potential to be severe. This is why it is important for construction workers to know what to do if a crush incident happens on the job.