Modern heavy equipment has high-quality control methods built into it, making it incredibly quick and dependable over time. These machines need to be properly managed and maintained to perform a variety of tasks.
Heavy-duty machines that do earthwork and other significant operations at mines, industries, and construction sites are known as heavy machinery. Even though these regions are already risky, heavy machinery increases the hazard.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury while working with heavy machinery? What to do next? This blog will discuss heavy machinery-related injuries, what to do after the accident, and how to file a workers’ compensation claim.
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Heavy Machinery Accidents Statistics
According to OSHA, over 800 heavy equipment accidents deaths and 18,000 amputations, lacerations, crushing injuries, and abrasions are sustained annually by employees who operate and repair machinery. Amputation is one of the most serious and disabling types of job injuries, frequently leading to permanent disability.
A worker can die due to heavy machinery-related injuries. As a result of getting “caught in operating equipment or machinery,” 93 workers passed away in 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The third most common cause of heavy machinery fatal accidents and the fourth most common cause of non-fatal injuries requiring time away from work are injuries brought on by contact with products and machinery. In 2021, 705 people were killed on the worksite, and 196,140 were injured.
Machinery injury rates are 71% greater in the construction sector than in any other sector. More than 25% of construction employees admitted not reporting an injury sustained at work. Thousands of heavy machine accidents and heavy equipment operator injuries at work occur each year.
Equipment That Causes Injuries
Many industries, like the construction industry, rely heavily on this type of heavy machinery. Heavy mobile equipment and vehicles, for instance, greatly speed up construction by raising worker productivity.
Even a minor overlook or error might result in a major heavy machinery accident in workplace when massive pieces of machinery are used at work. Numerous pieces of equipment, such as loaders, cranes, backhoes, compactors, mixers, forklifts, haul trucks, and cable ploughs, might be involved in these industrial machine accidents.
Heavy machinery and equipment utilization is a daily requirement in many industries for employees as part of their normal work duties. In warehouses, manufacturing facilities, building sites, metalworking facilities, oil and gas extraction, and processing sites, machines like backhoes, loaders, compactors, forklifts, mixers, ploughs, and more are all employed.
Due to the large loads, heights, extreme heat, and other hazardous conditions, this equipment enables employees to do activities that would otherwise be impossible. Heavy machinery has the potential to be tremendously safe when properly maintained and used by qualified workers.
There may be disastrous repercussions if the equipment malfunctions or is operated by a worker who has not received the necessary training.
When working close to large gear and equipment, there are always risks associated. A minor issue brought on by poor maintenance, a human mistake, or any other issue could have devastating repercussions.
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Causes of the Heavy Machinery Accident
Accidents with heavy equipment happen for a variety of reasons and frequently, especially in the construction sector. But many tragedies happen because appropriate safety measures and precautions are not taken properly. Here are some of the common causes of machine accidents:
Ineffective Training: Sometimes employers would start workers using a specific machine even though they were not adequately educated to do so in order to move things along quickly. This may be dangerous for all those involved.
Lack of Protective Gear: Every machine has some risk, so it’s important to use the necessary protective equipment. This can include gloves, a hard hat, safety goggles, and more.
Being struck by an object: One of the most frequent reasons for worker fatalities on construction sites is this. Heavy machinery is used in 75% of incidents where a worker is struck by an object. Trucks, cranes, or other large pieces of equipment are frequently used in these kinds of incidents.
Defective Machinery: Heavy equipment failures happen due to poor maintenance. Incorrect safety guards or improper maintenance on machinery could be considered defective, which could lead to deadly heavy equipment mishaps and machine related injuries.
Falling: One of the leading causes of accidents on construction sites is falling when stepping on and off gear. Therefore, operators need to exercise caution when entering and leaving a machine.
Electrocution: Many people who work on or around heavy machinery fail to take into account the possibility of electrocution if the machinery is working near live power lines.
Heavy machinery accidents frequently result in severe, potentially fatal injuries, leaving victims crippled, limbless, or disfigured.
Heavy equipment accidents caught on camera:
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Injury Caused by Heavy Machinery
Using some types of machinery can result in a variety of heavy machinery related injuries, from small bumps and cuts to serious, life-threatening injuries.
The following are a few instances of typical injuries brought on by heavy machinery mishaps:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bone
- Head injuries
- Electrical injuries
- Nerve injury
Heavy equipment operator accidents run the risk of causing severe injuries and, in the worst circumstances, fatalities. These occurrences may result in large cost obligations for long-term financial requirements such as medical treatment.
Medical treatment details are important for workers’ compensation claims. With the help of your detailed medical records, you might be eligible to receive a heavy machinery accident settlement.
After a heavy machinery accident, post-traumatic stress disorder is quite common and might make a sufferer scared to go back to work.
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Preventive Measures for Heavy Machinery Accidents
Accidents can happen anywhere; we can’t stop them, but we can prevent them. If workers and employers put safety first at all times, many injuries from job machinery can be avoided. However, even when employees adhere to safety procedures, there are situations when the equipment is flawed or does not operate as it should.
- Machine accidents can be avoided if both employers and employees receive adequate training and adhere to safety procedures. Employers can reduce machine accidents by providing employee training and increasing employees’ understanding of safety issues.
- Use the proper machine guards to shield workers from flying debris while the machine is in operation. To make sure it is in good operating order, heavy equipment undergoes routine inspections. If not, maintenance needs to be done.
- Workers may be exposed to several risks if they are not wearing the appropriate safety equipment. Workers must always keep in mind that it is better to be cautious and wear too much safety equipment than not enough.
- The best course of action is to avoid areas where machines are loading or unloading. Employees on foot should be warned to avoid forklifts and other large machines.
- Heavy machinery operation needs concentration and accuracy. This means that no other worker should enter the zone to avoid disturbing the person in charge of it.
Who is Responsible for Heavy Machinery Accidents?
A worker should be qualified for workers’ compensation benefits if they are hurt while carrying out their regular tasks and a heavy machinery accident results in injuries. There are times when another person or a worker was careless or intentionally hurtful, causing you harm.
Heavy machinery accidents can still happen even when safety precautions are in place because of flaws in the machinery or a manufacturer’s failure to provide the machine with an adequate safety notice. An injured worker may be allowed to sue the manufacturer in these situations on the grounds of product liability.
The owner might be responsible for the heavy equipment injuries caused by the poorly maintained machinery. The project owner has the responsibility of providing a safe workplace for their employees. If they failed to do so, they might be held liable.
On a construction site, multiple employers are active at the same time. You can make an insurance claim for compensation if one of these parties is accountable for your injuries from work machinery.
You might be able to pursue many choices at once, depending on the specifics of your situation. While your case against the manufacturer or any responsible party is pending, you can do this by submitting a workers’ compensation claim.
In some cases, the injury is the result of a broken or malfunctioning machine. In such a scenario, the injured worker could be entitled to bring a third-party claim against the product’s maker. The following benefits may be available to an injured worker:
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Future and present medical bills
- Lost enjoyment of life and consortium
A knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer can evaluate the specifics of the case and the type of injuries and suggest the best legal course of action.
What Should I Do After a Heavy Machinery Accident?
It’s critical that anyone hurt after a machinery accident workplace receives the right medical attention. If you were injured at work, your primary concern should be your recovery. This must be your first priority.
Additionally, you should alert your manager or the site’s supervisor so that the mishap can be recorded. Collect information, including any accident reports, medical information, and contact details for witnesses, if at all possible.
Accidents involving heavy machines may significantly hinder your capacity to work. Additionally, you might need extensive medical procedures and treatment. Your medical treatments are well documented in your medical records. To review medical records, you can choose the best medical record review firm to win your claim.
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Workers who have suffered severe injuries due to workplace machinery or equipment accidents may be entitled to compensation from their employer, the manufacturer, other third parties, and workers’ compensation.
Contact an attorney and file a workers’ compensation claim. You can obtain the compensation you need with the aid of an accomplished heavy machinery accident lawyer. You might be entitled to compensation to cover your medical expenses, missed wages, and suffering. You might have to make up for your reduced earning potential if you are unable to return to work.
To sum up,
Even if some workplaces might not be the safest places to work, it is safe when heavy machinery accidents can be handled with caution and safety precautions. Awareness and the use of well-maintained, secure, and safety equipment are the first steps in prevention.
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1/5 Heavy machines are widely used in the transportation, construction, and oil and gas industries.
These machines need to be properly managed and maintained to perform a variety of tasks.#heavymachineryaccident #machineryaccident #lezdomedlegal pic.twitter.com/fBHRV8CDGF
— LezDo MedLegal (@LezDoMedLegal) February 4, 2023