Workplace accidents due to machinery malfunctions and misuse happen every day. Injuries from machinery malfunctions range from cuts and scrapes to severe injuries that result in death. Machinery misuse can also cause electrocution, which can lead to amputation. Employers should make sure that all of their employees are fully trained to use any type of equipment. Sadly, this is not always the case.
Contact an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer as Soon as Possible
Injuries caused by machine malfunction can happen to anyone, even experienced employees. At Smith Hulsey Law, we are dedicated to making sure that injured workers receive the workers’ compensation they deserve. We use our extensive experience to advocate for our clients. If you or a loved one has been injured in a workplace injury caused by machinery malfunction or misuse, we can help. Contact Smith Hulsey Law as soon as possible to schedule your free initial consultation and learn how we can fight for you.
Types of Machinery Malfunctions
There are some types of workplace equipment that can easily cause injuries. Construction equipment, such as bulldozers and cranes can cause malfunctions and injuries. When these types of incidents happen due to a manufacturing defect, or through misuse of equipment, victims might be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. In some cases, you might also be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit.
There are many reasons that machines fail. Not all machine failures are the same, however. Machine malfunction and failure often implies that the machine stopped working the way it was intended to work. In some cases, a design defect causes the machine to stop working. Many times, user error causes a machine malfunction that results in someone’s injuries.
Industrial Accidents Involving Heavy Machinery
Work-related accidents involving machinery can happen when a piece of clothing, or a body party becomes stuck in the machinery. In some cases, an employee might remove the warning label and another employee might use the machine in an unsafe manner. Life threatening accidents often happen within seconds. A mere seconds is all it takes for someone to suffer a severe injury due to machine malfunction.
Types of Dangerous Machinery That Cause Workplace Accidents
Heavy machinery and equipment accidents can result from many different factors. Machinery defects and operator errors can cause devastating injuries. The following types of machinery are frequently associated with workplace accidents:
- Backhoes and loaders
- Combines and other farming equipment
- Cherry pickers
- Dump trucks
- Electric hand trucks
- Warehouse machinery and equipment
The following are common causes of heavy machinery and equipment accidents
- Machinery pins a worker between the machine and a stationary object
- Objects fall from a forklift or other equipment
- Failure to check the blind spots
- Entanglement with the machinery
- Dropped machinery loads
- An operator loses control of the machine and the machine topples on its side
- A machine collapses and crumples to the ground, crushing a worker
- A worker has not received enough training
- A worker was not wearing protective gear
- A worker collides with another piece of equipment
- A worker collides with a stationary object
- A vehicle backs up and kills a worker
Heavy Machinery is a Leading Cause of Serious Workplace Accidents
According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), heavy equipment and heavy machinery accidents are among the leading causes of fatal and serious accidents that take place on construction sites. Employees commonly violate safety standards that govern the use of powered industrial trucks, including forklifts, on job sites. Unfortunately, even in the most safe working environments, injuries can occur.
Common Injuries Caused by Heavy Machinery Accidents
Every heavy machinery accident is unique and causes unique injuries. Catastrophic injuries caused by heavy machinery can require a large amount of medical care. Your injuries will be unique, but it is common for people to suffer the following types of injuries:
- Crushed limbs
- Crushed fingers
- Crushed hands
- Cuts and lacerations
- Traumatic amputations
- Electrical burns
- Traumatic head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Skull fractures
- Broken bones and fractures
Amputation Injuries Caused by Machines
One of the most common injuries caused by machine misuse are amputation injuries. Workers across the country lose hands, fingers, or arms in industrial accidents involving machines. Amputation injuries usually require extensive treatment. Every amputation, no matter how small causes life-changing consequences. Even losing a finger will change someone’s life. The victim might not be able to write, use the computer, or continue working and providing for his or her loved ones.
Most workers have children, adult parents, or spouses who are dependent on them bringing home a full paycheck. When a worker loses one or more limbs, the worker might require significant help with daily activities. Amputations often require multiple surgeries and long periods of rehabilitation and physical therapy. Qualifying for workers’ compensation benefits can help an injured person and his or her family survive financially.
Seeking Workers’ Compensation After a Workplace Injury
Employers in the state of Georgia are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for workers who become injured. Workers’ compensation is a form of no-fault insurance, meaning that a worker injured by machinery can qualify for benefits no matter who was at fault for the accident. For example, if a worker uses a machine incorrectly and causes his or her injuries, the employer might still be required to provide that worker workers’ compensation benefits.
What to do After a Machinery Accident
If you have been injured in a heavy machinery accident, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The first step to take after an accident is to seek medical attention. If it is not an emergency, we encourage you to seek medical care as soon as possible. Make sure that you attend all of your appointments and follow the directions of your medical care providers.
Filing Your Claim for Workers’ Compensation After a Heavy Machinery Injury
Contact Smith Hulsey Law as soon as possible after your heavy machinery accident. We can help you navigate the workers’ compensation process. We offer potential clients free case evaluations, as well.