Heavy Equipment & Machinery Accident Lawyers
Houston Attorneys for People Hurt by Dangerous Equipment
Employers are required to furnish a safe work environment for employees; this includes the provision of safe machinery and equipment for work. A safe machine is one that has a minimal risk of causing serious injuries or accidents to workers and includes the presence of appropriate safeguards.
Examples of unsafe machinery in the workplace include:
- Machinery with an exposed flywheel
- Equipment with an unguarded cutter, blade, pulley belt, or emery wheel
- Electrical machinery that is improperly insulated, has loose wires, or insufficient grounding
- Equipment with powered doors that lack warning alarms
- Derricks or cranes that are defective or poorly maintained
- Machinery with rotating or moving parts, such as food slicers, meat grinders, wood chippers, etc.
- Preventing Accidents Relating to Unsafe Equipment
The operation of machinery that lacks effective safety devices or components can result in accidents leading to amputation and crushing injuries or even death. It is obviously in the best interest of many to not only protect those who have been injured but also to prevent these from occurring.
Some tips for prevention include the following:
- Properly guard unsafe machinery so workers are discouraged from entering the work area
- Effective safeguards that prevent workers from putting their hands into dangerous points of operation
- Providing protective equipment to workers who are responsible for operating the machine
- Repairing any malfunction or fault in a machine as soon as it is observed
- Paying special attention to workers' safety during the operation, cleaning, and repair of the machinery
- Restricting non-essential personnel from entry into work areas that contain pieces of unsafe machinery
- Proper procedures in place so machines have their power supply turned off during maintenance
Employers may not be able to avoid having potentially dangerous machinery, but they are required to install safety devices, train workers in the use of it, provide for a clear view of the work area, and post warning signs to maintain a safe environment. For example, having a large hydraulic press does not itself violate any safety standards, but the failure to provide guards to cover dangerous parts of the equipment can be a violation.
Heavy Machinery Accidents: Cranes, Forklifts & More
In a recent study, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor recorded over 4,000 fatal work injuries in a single year. The dangers of the industrial and construction workplaces continue to raise concerns from organizations like OSHA, aiming to protect our workers.
There are a variety of injuries that can occur from heavy machinery accidents, such as:
- Back injuries
- Crushing injuries
- Amputation injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Blunt force trauma
Many workers who suffer these types of injuries are unable to work for an extended period—in some cases, permanently. When employers fail to train machinery operators or regulate the functionality of equipment properly, it can result in serious consequences for workers.
Accidents Involving Cranes & Forklifts
Some of the most accident-prone machines include cranes and forklifts. When people look for lawyers who can handle these types of cases, they look to Arnold & Itkin. These machines are often found in the workplace and can cause severe injuries to workers if used incorrectly. For example, if a crane is on an unstable platform, the operator and workers in the area can be in danger. Crane boom collapses, tip-overs, and load accidents make construction zones extremely hazardous. Similarly, forklifts can be the cause of serious accidents; for example, common accidents include forklift tip-overs, falling debris, or collisions with other employees.