A good friend of my parents died in a similar situation, he parked on the grass verge outside his house and jacked the car up to work on the exhaust. While he was underneath the car the jack sunk into the ground and he was crushed.
It's easy to look back after the accident and say this, this and this could have been done but in the heat of the moment people panic.
The jack could have been stuck on its side between the ground and the bottom of the van, so not much good for jacking it back up. I had a car fall off a jack years ago (half way through jacking it up before I could get a stand under it), thankfully I wasn't under it, but I had to find another jack to release the first one.
always throw a spare wheel under where youre working , if the jack/stands fail then it should save you
It's always said, do not rely solely on the jack when under a vehicle
I see so many people doing this. I've even seen them laying under a car supported by the floppy things you get shoved in the spare.
I say something every time but it often falls on death ears. Unless I'm stuck at the side of the road I won't lift it unless I can drop it on a stand on secure ground. Always chock any wheels sitting on the floor (don't trust hand brakes or leaving in gear) and if I haven't a stand stuck at the side of the road keep your self right out. I've never seen a hydraulic one let go before and I don't want to but I've seen the floppy freebies get flung out a good few times. It's amazing how people put a small amount of time saving as a value on life.
The correct advice is to never remove the load if a person has been crushed as it can cause sudden blood loss and other complications. I don't expect that the bystanders will have known this unless they were medically trained.
I think it's harsh to blame bystanders
Only yesterday i saw a guy with his car jacked up(Factory Jack) removing the bolts, sitting upright on the road with his legs stretched out under the car. But to add to this his car was in a live carriageway.
Absolutely. "Used correctly"
Hmm. Understand that it may be the "proper" advice. But in the case of a car or van, not removing the load means the person is almost certainly going to be dead by the time that the emergency services arrive at the scene.
I was at a weekender car show last year where someone was working underneath their van when it slipped off the jack. Fortunately a number of people saw what had happened, and manually lifted the van off. Said bloke was taken to hospital by air ambulance, but got away with some broken ribs.
I saw a lad in our street working under a jack, I bought him a set of axel stands from the car boot.
You get a small window of a few minutes. The blood when trapped generates toxins in a very short space of time. If left too long then released this toxic blood then rushes round your body and organs which will likely kill you. It's a tough one because if left you could die and if released you could die. It's human instinct despite the medical knowledge to release a trapped person. I guess you'd have to make a judgement call based on there condition, and potentially how long they have been trapped for. If the entrapment looks life threatening any way then I guess you would take a chance and try to release that person as quickly as possible. Tough call to make.
I had a scissor jack fail in use, the threaded pivoting bushes that the threaded rod went through were made of plastic. The threads stripped and the car dropped back down onto its wheel! I wouldn't trust the average freebie scissor jack as far as I could throw it after that. I wasn't planning on getting under the car, I was only trying to change a flat after all but it made me a bit queasy thinking what would have happened if I'd have been wrestling with a half fallen off exhaust at the time. Not that I'd consider going under a car that wasn't firmly supported on stands, it was a long time ago and I was a lot more blasé about that sort of thing as a kid of 17.
A guy I used to know worked at cars in the street. Seen many times sitting with his legs under a car supported only by a sizer jack. PILLOCK !
walked through the workshop at college once and the lower years were doing something on the light aircraft we have ( piper aztec) jacking it up to put it on skates for moving it around the shop. one of the young lasses was sat with her legs under the wheel chatting to her mate whilst half heartedly pumping the jack handle. she went bright red and looked like she was close to crying when i rollocked her. maybe not my place to dish out tellings off, but then again if it had rocked off the jack and crushed her, would i have been happy to think it wasnt my place to tell her?
This is a real complex argument
One of my colleagues is investigating a crane collapse that crushed the driver who sadly died. His mates wanted to move him but Emergency services advised not to move him. Chap died as a result of the correct advice, equally his mates could have been responsible for his death if he died as a result of THIER intervention. Family are having a massive argument in the courts about this.
It's a bit like the Grenfell Fire. Advice was to stay in your flats as the flats should have been compartmentalised
There are other variables too. If that person trapped is kicking and screaming in pain then certainly leave them trapped and try to calm them down but assess the situation that if they go into shock. Is it possible to treat them for shock in the trapped position? If not you may have to take the gamble and release them to treat them for shock. If you don't they'll almost certainly die. It's 6 and 2 3's. If they start going white and unconscious you've got vital seconds to get em laid back and legs up.
If a guy is trapped by anything above the waist ( except for the arms) I would say always get the load off. Trapped by the legs you're unlikely to die from anything but toxic shock when released but if it's vital organs that's a different matter.
Of course you could always try to find out how long it's been by asking the casualty or bystanders. If I knew someone was crushed less than 20 Mins ago I'd be thinking about saving their trapped limbs. If I knew it was more than that I'd be thinking about saving their life even if it meant losing an appendage.
Tough call either way.
I was going to post earlier but thought twice about it.
Many years ago I took my two toddlers to the local play park which was a few hundred meters from the village, as we walked in I could hear frantic screaming and shouting and I found a young boy aged about 7 who had been playing on the old heavy roundabout, he'd half fallen off at speed and one leg had been dragged under the roundabout. His leg was folded at the knee (the right way thank goodness) but the whole weight of the roundabout was being carried on his leg.
I gave my mobile to one of the older children to ring the emergency services and then I found a fence post and used this to lever up the roundabout so another child could pull him free. He came out ok, with some bad scrapes on his leg but no permanent damage.
The paramedic turned up about 10 minutes later and politely suggested that I had been lucky in doing what I had done, he was very diplomatic but explained that as I had had no idea how long the leg had been trapped that by releasing it there could have been the possibility of complications.
My sister in law is a trauma nurse and she suggested the same thing as well.
I'm not sure what I'd do if the same or similar situation occurred again, your immediate instinct is to help but without medical assistance you could be making a situation worse.
A bit like not removing an injured motorcyclists helmet unless they start choking or you need to give mouth to mouth.
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