Machine accidents, such as equipment failures and unexpected start ups, are some of the most common types of work accidents across the U.S. In fact, machine hazards typically make OSHA’s top ten most frequently cited OSHA violations each year. In the most recent fiscal year (2015), lockout tagout violations and machine guarding violations came in at number 5 and 9, respectively.
Machine accidents at work often result in catastrophic injuries. Amputations and major crush injuries are common and are often so severe that they result in long term disabilities. For instance, a line worker at a factory who sustains a crushed limb injury may never be able to regain normal function of the arm. The economic losses can be significant. A worker who is the breadwinner for a family may find themselves unable to provide any income after a machine accident at work.
September 2016 Work Accident News: Food Company Processing Hazards – Pennsylvania Company Fined for Machine Hazards (Lockout/Tagout)
Machine Guarding & Lockout Tagout Procedures
OSHA regulates the use of machines in all major manufacturing activities in the U.S. including plastics, petroleum, food processing, electronics, etc. Machine guarding is important for protecting machine operators from dangers such as point of operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts, etc. Guarding methods vary depending on the type of equipment and usually include barrier guards, two hand tripping devices, etc.
Lockout tagout procedures are designed to disable machinery and drain all residual energy to prevent unintended operation. They protect workers from machine dangers such as unexpected start ups during maintenance of a piece of equipment.
Defective Machines & Equipment Failures
In some instances, a worker may be injured when a machine fails due to a defective condition or a worker may become injured when a tool fails to work properly. Under product liability laws, injured workers may file lawsuits against product manufacturers, distributors and retailers when a product causes an accident due to a defect. These cases are very complex and will require review by a knowledgeable product injury lawyer who is experienced in litigating work accident product injury cases.
Is Workers’ Compensation the Only Source of Financial Compensation?
Workers’ compensation benefits are entirely separate from civil lawsuits for work accidents like machinery accidents. Injured workers may be entitled to both workers’ compensation benefits and financial compensation via a work injury lawsuit. It is vital to obtain legal advice as soon as possible after a work accident occurs. Doing so can help preserve legal rights down the road. Get more legal info about workers’ compensation benefits in work injury cases.
Top Rated Accident Lawyers – Handling Machine Accidents at Work
Our top rated lawyers accept work related machine accident lawsuits involving machine failures and unexpected machine startups. Each of the firm’s partners have been rated by Super Lawyers magazine as top injury lawyers in the field of injuries and accidents. Call for a free consultation.
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