Caught In/Between Accidents

A caught-in/between accident happens when a worker is injured when he or she becomes caught in or between a moving object and a stationary one, or between two moving objects. Caught in/between accidents are so dangerous that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) includes them as one of the aptly named “Fatal Four” categories of most dangerous workplace accidents. According to OSHA statistics, more than half of all worker fatalities in construction in 2015 were due to the Fatal Four. Constructions workers, factory workers, and those in the agriculture industry are at the highest risk for this type of accident.

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Common Causes of Caught In/Between Accidents

Caught in/between accidents can happen when a vehicle or piece of equipment rolls over and pins a worker underneath, or when repairs are attempted on equipment that is still moving. During excavation work, trenches can collapse, burying the workers underneath. Other times, operators of forklifts, cranes, or lifts fail to see a worker in their pathway and the worker can be pinned or crushed. There are many causes of caught in/between accidents. Some of the most common include:

  • Working on or around moving equipment
  • Loose clothing being pulled into moving equipment or machinery
  • Lack of safety guards on equipment or removal of guards
  • Lack of visibility to equipment operators
  • Inadequate soil preparation or shoring of trenches
  • Equipment with stored energy, or equipment that has not been properly de-energized

Injuries from caught in/between accidents are often serious or even fatal and can result in:

Some injuries leave the victim in a state of chronic pain and long-term disability. Treatment for serious injuries can require extensive hospitalization and costly rehabilitation.

Preventing Caught In/Between Accidents

Fortunately, caught in/between accidents are almost always preventable. Employers have a responsibility to maintain a safe work environment and provide training for their employees on recognizing caught-in hazards and preventing accidents before they happen. Additionally, they should use the following practices to protect workers:

  • Equip all moving vehicles with back-up alarms and use flagging personnel if the worksite noise level is louder than the back-up signal
  • Provide safety guards for machinery and tools and keep all equipment in good working order
  • Make workers aware of vehicle traffic patterns and isolate hazards as much as possible by demarcating dangerous areas. Update this information as the worksite changes
  • Provide protection for workers during excavation and trenching work
  • Protect workers from the collapse of scaffolding
  • Protect workers from being injured by collapsing walls during demolition
  • Take precautions with heavy machinery that can tip over so that no workers can be crushed underneath
  • Support and secure equipment that workers could get caught between

If you have been injured in a caught-in/between accident while on the job you may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits and should contact a qualified Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyer who can help you determine your legal options. Workers’ Compensation can provide you with compensation for lost wages, medical care – including hospital treatment, prescription medicines, and prostheses, and compensation for the loss of specific body parts or serious disfigurement. Additionally, families who have lost a loved one are often eligible to receive death benefits.

Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP Advocate for Victims of Caught In/Between Accidents

If you have suffered injuries in a caught in/between accident, let us help you with your legal needs so that you can focus on your recovery. At Gross & Kenny, LLP, our Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers know the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation system and can help you get the maximum allowable benefits for your case. Call us today at 215-512-1500 for a free consultation or contact us online.