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Casualty impaled or trapped by an object

Hazard Knowledge

People can become trapped by or in objects such as:

  • Gates
  • Railings
  • Drains
  • Plugholes or taps
  • Jewellery
  • Handcuffs

Although these mechanisms of entrapment may initially appear to be straightforward to deal with, they have the potential to injure the casualty. This could be immediately or due to other factors such as the position they are trapped in or the surrounding environment.

The fire and rescue service may be mobilised to where the entrapment occurred, to a hospital, or with the casualty presenting themselves to a fire station.

The use of fire and rescue service equipment, including small tools, ring cutters or hydraulic rescue equipment, could result in injuries such as tissue damage or thermal burns. Medical assistance may be required for injuries, whether caused either by the entrapment or by the release process.


Personnel may respond to incidents where casualties have been impaled by objects that are still in situ. Such incidents require specialist medical assistance and the priority should be to stabilise casualties until support arrives.