Machines are a major source of injury in the workplace. Robots and machines enhance production speed and efficiency in many industries, including manufacturing, construction, and healthcare.Unfortunately, inadequate maintenance, defective machinery, unsafe work practices, and insufficient safety measures can cause severe injuries and even death. To protect yourself and others, read on and learn more about the top causes of machine accidents in the workplace.
Insufficient Safety Measures
To prevent workplace injuries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) establishes and maintains strict safety standards. One of OSHA’s most cited violations involves machine guarding. OSHA’s machine guarding standards establish protective measures to reduce machinery hazards in a wide range of industries, including:
- Cooking and baking
- Maritime operations
- Industrial operations
OSHA standards for machines establish the placement, installation, and use of guarding equipment, such as barriers, tripping devices, and electronic safety devices. If appropriate machine guarding systems aren’t in place, a workplace accident could occur. If you suffered a machine injury due to inadequate workplace safety measures, you could seek compensation for your medical bills, lost work, and other losses. A workers’ compensation attorney in your area can help.
Unsafe Work Environment
OSHA also requires strict safety standards for workplace illumination and slip, trip, and fall hazards. Violation of lighting protocols creates an environment where workers cannot see well enough to safely operate machinery. Slip, trip, and fall hazards like exposed wires and slippery surfaces can cause workers to fall into or against dangerous machinery.
Inadequate Protective Equipment
A lack of eye and face protection is OSHA’s eighth most cited standard violation. When workers do not have eye goggles, face shields, or helmets, they are at greater risk for eye, face, and head injuries.
Employee Overwork and Fatigue
When workers operate machinery while fatigued or distracted, it can lead to severe machine-related injuries. Machine operators must be alert and able to make quick decisions in the event of an error or malfunction.A tired or distracted worker may be inattentive, distracted, and slow, which leads to mistakes and oversights. This places both the operators and their co-workers at risk of machine-related injury. Such injuries can often be prevented with adequate staffing and frequent breaks.
Defective or Damaged Equipment
Sometimes equipment simply doesn’t work as intended. A broken or defective component can cause equipment operators to lose control, placing everyone in the vicinity in danger. If your injury was caused by a defective machine part, you could seek compensation from the manufacturer or distributor. An attorney who handles workplace injuries can help you understand your legal rights.
Inadequate Maintenance and Repairs
Maintenance and repairs are crucial aspects of maintaining a safe workplace. When an employer or supervisor fails to keep equipment properly maintained or repair damaged machines promptly, it can cause severe operator injuries and even constitute negligence in the workplace.
Insufficient Employee Training and Experience
Employees should be thoroughly trained in machine operation. In fact, special training and licensing are required to operate many types of heavy machinery legally in the workplace. Employees who operate machinery without sufficient training or experience pose a risk to themselves and others.
Employer or Co-Worker Negligence
If workers or workplace policies fail to adhere to safety standards for machine operations, they could be guilty of negligence. While most workers’ comp claims don’t require proof of fault, you may have other options if your employer, manager, or co-worker willfully disregarded safety measures and you were injured as a result.
Injuries You Could Sustain in a Workplace Machine Accident
OSHA reports that more than 18,000 injuries and 800 deaths occur each year due to workplace machine injuries, including:
- Crushing injuries
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that approximately 58% of workplace amputations involve machinery.
Steps to Take if You Are Injured in a Machine Accident in the Workplace
If you are injured in a workplace machine accident, these steps can ensure your safety and protect your legal rights:
- Seek emergency medical treatment, if necessary.
- Remove yourself and others from harm’s way.
- Report your injury to your employer as soon as possible.
- Document the accident scene and take witness contact information.
- See your employer’s approved medical care provider for treatment.
- File a workers’ compensation claim within the filing deadline.
- Complete all treatments prescribed by your doctor.
- Hire a workers’ comp lawyer to protect your right to compensation.
How a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help Following a Workplace Machine Accident
Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to help employees recover after a work-related injury or illness. When you are injured by workplace machinery, you have a right to seek compensation regardless of who is at fault. Every state has different workers’ compensation laws and procedures, so it’s wise to work with a local attorney.
A lawyer can provide many benefits, including:
- Compiling evidence to support your claim.
- Answering calls, letters, and requests for information.
- Helping you counter denials.
- Accompanying you to depositions, hearings, and trial proceedings.
- Defending your legal right to workers’ compensation benefits.
A workers’ comp attorney can guide you through claims, appeals, and other proceedings to seek the best possible outcome. While no outcome is guaranteed, you can rest assured that your attorney will actively work to secure the workers’ comp benefits you deserve.
Schedule a Consultation With a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Today
When you understand the top causes of machine accidents in the workplace, you can work to prevent serious and sometimes fatal injuries. However, accidents can still happen, even with the best of intentions. If you suffered a machine injury in the workplace, you could seek workers’ compensation benefits to cover your medical costs, lost income, disability, and vocational rehabilitation. The workers’ comp lawyers at KJT Law Group know how to fight even the most stubborn workers’ compensation insurance carriers to pursue the compensation you need after a machine accident. Contact our workers’ comp attorneys online today or dial (818) 507-8525 to discuss your workplace machine injury claim.