Working in the construction industry in California comes with a variety of risks. One of the most dangerous is being caught -in or -between objects. This can happen when you are working between two objects, and they suddenly move, trapping you in between them. It can also happen when an object falls on you, crushing you. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to prevent or deal with an injury brought by such an incident.
Protecting yourself against caught -in or -in between hazards
The first step to protecting yourself against such workplace accidents is understanding the working conditions that contribute to this hazard. The most common causes of caught -in or -between incidents are incompletely guarded machinery, loose clothing or hair becoming entangled in the machine and inadequate control of hazardous energy sources.
The law stipulates that a work environment must be safe at all times, and employers and employees must work together to ensure that the workplace is free from hazards. Employers must implement adequate safety measures and provide proper training for employees on the potential risks posed by equipment and other objects in the work environment. In addition, they must ensure employees comply with lockout or tag-out procedures, which involve shutting off energy sources before servicing or repairing machines, thus reducing the risk of injury if an unexpected start-up occurs while working on the parts.
Employees, on the other hand, should always be aware of their surroundings when working, particularly when near heavy machinery or objects that could move suddenly. It’s also essential to wear protective clothing such as gloves, protective eyewear and a hard hat at all times. If you have long hair, consider tying it back securely away from moving parts of machines.
If you, unfortunately, get caught -in or -between an object, it’s essential to remain calm and not panic. Immediately inform a supervisor of the incident and seek medical attention if needed. If injured, you may be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits or a disability claim. You might also sue your employer or a third party (someone like a manufacturer of the machine that trapped you) if you believe the incident was due to negligence.