Workplace Accidents Involving Machines and Equipment: What You Need to Know

The most common types of workplace accidents involving machinery and equipment can vary depending on the industry and specific circumstances. Here are a few examples of such accidents along with some statistics:

  1. Caught in or Between Machinery: This type of accident occurs when a worker gets trapped, caught, or crushed between moving parts of machinery or equipment. For instance, a worker’s hand or arm may get caught in a conveyor belt or between gears. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2019, caught-in or caught-between incidents resulted in 285 fatalities in the United States.
  2. Struck by Objects: This category includes accidents where workers are struck by objects or equipment. For example, a worker may be hit by a falling tool or struck by a vehicle in a construction site. The BLS reported 417 fatalities in 2019 due to struck-by-object incidents.
  3. Overturned Machinery: Accidents involving machinery tipping over can lead to serious injuries. This can occur, for instance, when a forklift or crane overturns due to improper operation or unstable ground. The BLS recorded 79 fatalities in the United States in 2019 from overturning incidents.
  4. Entanglement in Machinery: This type of accident happens when a worker’s clothing, hair, or body parts get entangled in moving machinery or equipment. For instance, loose clothing getting caught in a rotating drill or a worker’s hair getting caught in a machine’s moving parts. The BLS reported 35 fatalities in 2019 due to machinery entanglement incidents.
  5. Electrical Accidents: Working with machinery and equipment can expose employees to electrical hazards, such as shocks or electrocutions. These accidents can occur when proper lockout/tagout procedures are not followed, leading to inadvertent contact with live electrical components. The BLS reported 160 fatalities in the United States in 2019 due to electrical accidents.

It’s important to note that these statistics represent the United States for the year 2019 and may vary in different countries. Additionally, the severity of injuries and incidents can range from minor injuries to fatalities. Workplace safety protocols, proper training, and adherence to safety regulations can significantly reduce the occurrence of such accidents.

What Should You Do About Dangerous Equipment?

Ensure your safety and the safety of others. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Stop Using the Equipment: If you notice that a piece of equipment has failed or poses a danger, the first and most crucial step is to stop using it immediately. Continuing to operate faulty equipment can lead to further accidents or injuries.
  2. Notify Your Supervisor or Manager: Report the situation to your supervisor or manager as soon as possible. Provide them with clear and detailed information about the equipment failure or danger you observed. If there is an established protocol for reporting such incidents, follow it accordingly.
  3. Isolate the Area: If the equipment failure or danger poses a risk to others, take steps to isolate the area and prevent access. This can involve cordoning off the area with caution tape, posting signs to alert others of the hazard, or temporarily closing down the affected section if necessary.
  4. Follow Emergency Procedures: If the situation requires it, follow the established emergency procedures in your workplace. This may include evacuating the area, activating emergency alarms, or contacting emergency services.
  5. Seek Medical Attention: If anyone has been injured as a result of the equipment failure or danger, ensure that they receive immediate medical attention. If the injury is severe, call emergency services or ask someone to do so.
  6. Document the Incident: Make a record of the incident, including the date, time, location, and details of the equipment failure or danger. Take photographs if possible and gather any other relevant evidence. This documentation can be useful for reporting the incident, investigating the cause, and potentially filing a workers’ compensation claim if necessary.

How Can a Lawyer Help

Consulting with a lawyer who specializes in workplace accidents can be beneficial. Here are some ways a lawyer can assist you:

  1. Legal Advice and Guidance: A lawyer experienced in workplace accidents can provide you with personalized legal advice based on the specifics of your case. They can explain your rights, potential legal options, and help you understand the legal process ahead.
  2. Evaluation of Liability: Your lawyer will assess the circumstances surrounding your injury and evaluate the liability of the parties involved.
  3. Gathering Evidence: A lawyer will assist in gathering relevant evidence to support your claim. This may include collecting documentation, photographs, video footage, or witness statements.
  4. Identifying Responsible Parties: In cases involving faulty workplace machines, multiple parties may share responsibility. Your lawyer can help identify potentially liable parties.
  5. Negotiating with Insurance Companies: If the employer or responsible party has insurance coverage, the lawyer can handle negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf. They will work to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, disability benefits, and a compensation.
  6. Maximizing Compensation: Your lawyer’s goal is to maximize your compensation for the injury you have suffered. They will assess the full extent of your injuries, including current and future medical expenses, lost earnings, rehabilitation costs, and any long-term effects on your quality of life.

Remember, it’s essential to consult with a qualified lawyer as soon as possible after your injury to ensure that important deadlines and legal requirements are met. Your initial consultation is often free, so there’s no risk in seeking legal advice. Don’t delay—make the call and take the first step towards getting the justice and compensation you deserve.

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