Heavy Machinery Accidents
Men and women in construction, agriculture, and manufacturing, among other industries, operate different types of heavy machinery on the job every day. Without proper training and safe operation practices, these invaluable machines can become dangerous threats to workers and bystanders alike.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), mobile heavy machinery, such as cranes, backhoes, bulldozers, and dump trucks caused more than 400 fatal accidents annually. Workers who are not killed may still suffer painful, life-altering bodily injuries. The good news is heavy machinery accidents are largely preventable with rigorous safety guidelines, training, and well-maintained equipment. Employees who are hurt in a heavy machinery accident can file a Workers’ Compensation claim with their employer to receive benefits for any medical care they require, and supplemental income while they are unable to work.
Common Heavy Machinery Accidents and Injuries
Some of the most common heavy machinery accidents reported to the Bureau of Labor Statistics include:
- Collisions: Accidents occur when mobile heavy machinery violently crashes or collides with people or property. Backhoes are among the most dangerous pieces of heavy equipment in construction because they have limited visibility and are difficult to maneuver. Backhoes are involved in more than half of heavy equipment-related fatalities.
- Caught in/between accidents: Industrial and factory machines pose a risk to operators every day. Even with proper protective equipment such as goggles and gloves, workers risk being caught or crushed in the intricate moving parts of these massive and complex pieces of equipment. Lacerations, punctures, and amputations are possible in presses, lathes, and farming equipment.
- Struck-by accidents: When work involving heavy machinery is done from an elevated level, workers below the worksite can be struck by falling objects dropped from cranes, forklifts, and excavators. Sometimes hard hats are not enough to protect from traumatic brain injuries caused by impact from a dropped object.
Injuries caused by heavy machinery accidents include:
- Back injuries
- Bone Breaks
- Brain injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Shoulder Injuries
OSHA Regulations and Heavy Machinery Operation
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency of the United States Department of Labor responsible for establishing and enforcing workplace health and safety standards to protect workers in a variety of industries employed throughout the country. OSHA’s regulations for workplaces with heavy machinery include:
- Properly training workers to handle controls, safely mount and dismount vehicles, and utilize backup alarms
- Regular inspections to ensure heavy machinery is in good working order and repaired on time when necessary
- Guidelines for safe parking and storage of all types of heavy machinery
Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Heavy Machinery Accidents
Unfortunately, even with the most diligent safety practices and training, some heavy machinery accidents will not be prevented. When a construction or factory worker is crushed by equipment or struck by a falling or airborne object, the resulting injuries can be devastating.
Injured workers may face hospitalization, surgery, and a long, painful road to recovery. All this care and therapy costs money, which is added stress for an individual who is unable to work because of their injuries. Fortunately, there is some form of financial relief in the form of Workers’ Compensation benefits. These benefits cover the costs of medical care for work injuries and a portion of your income while you recover, regardless of who was at fault for the heavy machinery accident.
South Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP Handle Workers’ Compensation Claims for Injured Workers
Because Workers’ Compensation claims have deadlines, anyone hurt on the job should report their injuries to their employer and consult a South Jersey Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP as soon as possible. We are committed to advocating for New Jersey’s injured workers, including fighting to appeal claims that have been denied. Call us at 856-761-3773 or contact us online. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout South Jersey, including the City of Camden.