While crush syndrome is a rare occurrence, it is possible that workers can encounter the serious medical condition while on the job. Crush syndrome occurs when an individual is trapped for a period of time under a crushing force, especially during a workplace incident or natural disaster.
Depending on the type of emergency response a victim receives, dealing with crush syndrome in a timely manner creates a fine line between life and death. The response and medical treatment one receives while being removed from a trapped situation must be aggressive before the victim succumbs to one of the three major affects of crush syndrome which includes hypovolemia, renal failure, or a cardiac arrhythmias.
These affects of are due to the consequences of the human body being compressed by such pressure such as when equipment topples, building collapses, or large, heavy materials fall. It does not take long for the cells near the area being compressed to become damaged and circulation of the blood is limited. Oxygen is also prevented from reaching all parts of the body which can lead to serious medical concerns within a short period of time.
Many types of jobs can put workers at risk for crush syndrome because the dangers of falling objects, equipment, or other on the job hazards. This is especially true of those working hard labor jobs such as in construction. However, any worker can be subjected to crushing syndrome in the event of a natural disaster such as an earthquake or hurricane that leads to the collapse of a building.
Safety precautions need to be taken during the operation of heavy equipment and during the initial construction of buildings. There also needs to be an updated safety protocol for emergency situations. Should something go wrong workers should know what the proper response is to ensure the health and safety of all in the work place.