Machinery that is not properly guarded is capable of inflicting serious and horrific injury on workers. Machine operators risk injuries such as crushed hands and arms, severed fingers, burns, blindness, and worse. In construction, vehicles and mobile heavy equipment are a major cause of fatalities, resulting in about 400 deaths each year.
Although OSHA publishes guidelines for the safe usage of machinery, machine guarding requirements are one of the top 10 most frequently violated OSHA standards. This suggests that many machinery and equipment accidents are preventable. In fact, the failure to adhere to safe operating procedures is the primary causal factor of machinery fatalities.
How Machinery and Equipment Injuries Occur
Employees are most likely to suffer machinery and equipment-related injuries when unjamming objects from the equipment, cleaning the equipment, and adjusting the equipment. In the vast majority of cases, injuries occur due to moving machine parts or energized electric parts. This generally happens because the equipment was not powered off before the worker performed the task.
According to OSHA, the types of machinery most likely to cause injury are:
- Agitators and mixers
- Rolls and rollers
- Conveyors and augers
- Saws and cutters
- Earth moving equipment
- Crushers and pulverizers
- Forges and presses
- Electrical apparatus
Causes of Machinery and Equipment Injuries
Unfortunately, injuries from machinery and equipment most often occur when the manufacturer, owner, or operator of the machinery has been inattentive, reckless, or negligent. Common causes of machine injuries include:
- Inadequate training
- Unsafe construction site design
- Negligent equipment maintenance
- Equipment malfunction or defect
- Safety violations
- Ineffective supervision
- Operator inattention
- Misuse of equipment
Preventing Machinery and Equipment Injuries
Preventing machinery and equipment injuries is as simple as following these common-sense safety procedures.
- Implement proper guarding on every machine.
- Always wear the appropriate protective equipment.
- Never interfere with moving machinery or its operator.
- Never operate machinery without the proper training.
- Stay clear of machines when they are operating.
Get Help from a Long Island Machine Injury Attorney
Most workers who have been injured by machinery or equipment will receive workers’ compensation. However, if employers or manufacturers are responsible for creating an unsafe working environment due to negligence or product defects, victims of machinery accidents may be eligible to file a personal injury suit.
The machine injury lawyers at Winkler Kurtz, LLP have decades of experience in pursuing fair compensation for workers who have been injured on the job. Contact us online or call us at 631-928-8000 to schedule a complimentary consultation and learn about your options.