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CPWR Releases Report on Caught-In/Between Accidents

Monday, February 12, 2018

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The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) recently released its newest quarterly data report in which it covers caught-in/between (CIB) fatalities in various industries from 2003-15. Construction tops the list.

“Caught-in/between hazards are among OSHA's Focus Four causes of occupational fatalities in the construction industry,” the organization says in its report. “This category includes workers killed when trenches, walls, equipment, or materials collapse, as well as people pinched/compressed between objects and equipment or caught in moving machinery.”

Although the report looks at numbers dating back to 2003, the Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System was redesigned after 2010, so much of the data extracted represents the time period of 2011-15. Some key findings include:

  • From 2011 to 2015, 275 construction workers died from caught-in/between injuries, more than any other major industry (followed by 244 deaths in manufacturing and 197 in agriculture);
  • In 2015, 68 construction workers were killed due to caught-in/between injuries, a 33 percent increase from 2011;
  • More than two in three of caught-in/between fatalities from 2011 to 2015 were due to being caught or crushed in collapsing materials; and
  • Among occupations, ironworkers had the highest rate of caught-in/between fatalities, while helpers had the highest risk of nonfatal caught-in/between injuries.

Fatal Injury Trends in Construction

Caught-in/between fatalities declined during the United States’ recession, which is consistent with overall fatality trends in the industry. However, that 33 percent increase from 2011 to 2015 surpasses the growth rate of overall construction fatalities (about 26 percent).

Between 2003-15, caught-in/between fatalities accounted for nearly 10 percent of construction deaths.

Another increase between 2011-15 was the number of caught-in/between fatalities caused by being caught or crushed in collapsing materials, which went up to 68.6 percent, a 50 percent increase. The rate of other causes, such as being caught or compressed by equipment or objects, stayed relatively flat.

Images: CPWR

Between 2003-15, caught-in/between fatalities accounted for nearly 10 percent of construction deaths.

A little more than half of the deaths caused by collapsing materials involved collapsing structures or equipment such as walls or cranes. Another 40 percent involved excavation or trench cave-ins.

Subgroups in Construction Fatalities

Of the construction subsectors, Site Preparation had the highest number of fatalities from 2011-15 with 59, followed by Utility System (28) and Residential Building (24).

Some of the data was presented in regard to full-time equivalent workers, including the subsets of occupation. Laborers had the highest number of total fatalities (122). However, ironworkers had the highest rate with five deaths per 100,000 FTEs.

The fatality rates also varied among worker characteristics. Self-employed construction workers, for example, had a low rate of caught-in/between fatalities (.34 per 100,000 FTEs), while black, non-Hispanic workers had a much higher rate than any other sub-characterized group in the data (1.21 per 100,000 FTEs). Age seemed to be a contributing factor as well.

“By age, more than a quarter (26.9 percent) of construction workers who died from caught-in/between injuries were 45-54 years old, the largest proportion among all age groups. While workers aged 65 years and older only accounted for 5 percent of such deaths, they had the highest rate of such fatalities of any age bracket, at nearly one death per 100,000 FTEs, more than twice the rate for those aged 25-34.”

Non-Fatal Injury Trends

Coinciding with the overall nonfatal injury trends, the report says, both the number and rate of caught-in/between injuries resulting in days away from work (DAFW) in construction declined between 2003 and 2015, and 2015 saw a 30 percent decrease from 2011.

Unlike the fatalities, the leading cause (93 percent) of caught-in/between injuries was equipment or objects. Also unlike fatalities, construction came in fourth in a list of industries for non-fatal injuries in 2015 with 2,560. Above construction were wholesale (3,160), retail (3,350) and manufacturing (12,610).

Construction was also lower on the list in terms of rate of injuries, coming in at No. 6 with 4.3 per 10,000 FTEs—behind agriculture (12.9), manufacturing (10.2), wholesale (5.6), mining (5.3) and transportation (5.0).

Equipment involved in the caught-in/between or compression injuries was statistically led by metal woodworking and special material machinery and building materials or solid elements, with 450 and 420 injuries, respectively.

Subgroups in Construction Injuries

The Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning subsector had the highest number of caught/compressed by an object or equipment injuries with 410 in 2015, but the highest rate of those industries crosses into the infrastructure realm, with the Highway, Street and Bridge subsector seeing those injuries at a rate of 9.2 per 10,000 FTEs.

The Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning subsector had the highest number of caught/compressed by an object or equipment injuries with 410 in 2015, but the highest rate of those industries crosses into the infrastructure realm, with the Highway, Street and Bridge subsector seeing those injuries at a rate of 9.2 per 10,000 FTEs.

Residential Building had the second highest number and rate, with 390 and 6.4 per 10,000 FTEs.

By occupation, laborers again had the highest number, this time for DAFW injuries, with 740. The occupation with the highest rate, however, was construction helpers with 14.9 per 10,000 FTEs.

Age seemed to have the opposite impact regarding injuries as opposed to fatalities. “Unlike fatal caught-in/between injuries, older construction workers had a lower risk of nonfatal caught/compressed by object or equipment injuries than their younger counterparts. Construction workers under 20 years old had the highest rate of nonfatal caught/compressed by injuries, with 5.3 injuries per 10,000 FTEs, while workers aged 55 years and older had the lowest rate of such injuries.

“Construction workers aged 45-54 years old had the largest proportion of caught/compressed by injuries (30.9 percent). This age group had a higher injury rate than older ones and shared a larger proportion of construction employment as well.”

The CPWR report concluded with a table of solutions for various events and hazards, provided by training documents from OSHA, which can be found here.

   

Tagged categories: Accidents; CPWR; Fatalities; Health and safety; OSHA; Research; Safety

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