Houston Machinery Accident Lawyers

Helping Workers Hurt by Heavy Machinery & Industrial Equipment 

Employers are required to provide a safe work environment for employees. This includes ensuring that all machinery and equipment required for work is safe and properly maintained. A safe machine is one that has a minimal risk of causing serious injuries or accidents and includes the presence of appropriate safeguards.

If you or someone you love was hurt at work due to unsafe or defective equipment, we can help. At Arnold & Itkin, we aggressively represent the rights of injured workers throughout Texas and the United States. We have secured some of the biggest verdicts and settlements in the field of personal injury law, and we are prepared to advocate tirelessly for you and your recovery. Our Houston heavy equipment accident attorneys bring more than two decades of experience to their practice, along with a passion for standing up on behalf of those harmed by the negligence of others.

For a free initial consultation, contact us today at (888) 493-1629

Examples of Dangerous Heavy Machinery 

Workers across a wide range of industries are required to use dangerous equipment and heavy machinery every day on the job. While some of these machines have inherent risks, employers must still take all appropriate precautions—such as routinely inspecting equipment for defects and ensuring tools have proper guards—to protect their employees. 

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, woodchippers, etc.

As gears turn, blades cut, and presses compact items, each movement may carry thousands of pounds of force behind it. If a worker's uniform, gloves, or a body part is trapped in the mechanism, they could face serious and permanent damage, including death. Employers must ensure that all workplace equipment is safe and in good working order.

Just as employers must ensure proper protections for employees required to use heavy machinery on the job, workers should also follow all safety standards and OSHA regulations to avoid becoming injured. 

Accidents Involving Cranes & Forklifts

Some of the most accident-prone machines include cranes and forklifts. These machines are often found in industrial workplaces 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, a forklift may tip over if used incorrectly, or a worker may knock items off high shelves, causing falling debris that puts everyone in the vicinity at risk. In some cases, forklift operators may even collide with stationary objects, other forklifts, or workers when they are not paying attention or when the forklift is defective.

When people look for lawyers who can handle these types of cases, they look to Arnold & Itkin. Our Houston equipment accident attorneys have a reputation for providing the relentless advocacy injured workers need, as well as getting the desired results that allow accident victims and their loved ones to move forward with their lives. 

Record-Setting Verdict For Crane Accident Survivor

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Preventing Heavy Equipment Accidents in the Workplace 

Heavy machinery and industrial equipment pose serious risks to workers. When these machines lack effective safety devices or components, workers are susceptible to catastrophic accidents and life-changing injuries, such as amputation and crush injuries, bone fractures, eye injuries, and even fatalities. However, there are certain steps employers and employees can take to help prevent accidents. 

Below are some tips for preventing heavy equipment accidents at work:

  • Ensure all employees receive appropriate training for heavy machinery operation 
  • Prevent lockout/tagout accidents by putting effective policies into place 
  • Properly guard unsafe machinery to discourage workers from entering the area
  • Utilize safeguards, such as machine guards, that prevent workers from accidents 
  • Provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to employees 
  • Routinely inspect equipment for issues and repair promptly when necessary 
  • Restrict non-essential personnel from entry into areas containing unsafe machinery 
  • Pay special attention to worker safety during machine cleaning, repair, and maintenance
  • Post required safety warnings and notices in places where workers can easily see them

Employers may not be able to avoid having potentially dangerous machinery, but they are required to install safety devices, train workers on proper equipment usage, provide for a clear view of the work area, and post warning signs to maintain a safe environment. 

Using Protective Equipment to Help Prevent Machinery Accidents

Even seemingly insignificant pieces of a machine can lead to a serious disaster. For instance, an unsecured lever could catch on a worker's pocket and drag them under a dangerous mechanism. 

The inherent dangers of powerful machines make it essential for workers to be trained in all relevant operational and safety practices. Safety equipment can also play a key role in protecting workers from harm when handling dangerous machinery. 

Equipment to protect against machinery accidents includes:

  • Gloves
  • Hardhats
  • Face shields
  • Steel-toed boots
  • Barriers guarding around pinch points
  • Machine cut-offs in the event of an emergency

Lack of proper safety equipment can lead to devastating machinery accidents, which can, in turn, leave workers with overwhelming medical bills. The cost of hospital visits, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, and any needed prosthesis or other medical equipment may burden injured workers for years to come. 

If a settlement is offered for a severe injury like this, victims and their families may see it as a quick solution to their immediate financial burdens, but it is important to make sure that any amount received will fully cover the costs associated with an injury of this magnitude. We strongly recommend that you work with a knowledgeable attorney, like those at Arnold & Itkin, who can explain your options and protect your rights. 

Common Types of Injuries Resulting from Heavy Equipment Accidents

In a recent study, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor (BLS) 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, leading to the enactment of various regulations aimed at protecting workers. 

Workers involved in heavy machinery and equipment accidents are at risk of sustaining a variety of injuries, such as:

  • Back injuries
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Crush injuries
  • Amputation injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries 
  • Electrocution
  • Burns
  • Blunt force trauma
  • Eye and face injuries 

Many workers who suffer these types of injuries are unable to work for an extended period—and some will suffer permanent injuries that prevent them from ever returning to their old jobs. Combined with thousands of dollars in medical expenses, this loss of income can be debilitating for workers and their families. 

At Arnold & Itkin, our Houston machinery accident attorneys understand the challenges injured workers face. We also recognize that negligent employers must be held accountable. That is why we take on complex cases involving heavy equipment accidents and industrial injuries. Our team is committed to fighting for the rights of injured workers, as well as the families of those wrongfully killed in workplace accidents. 

How Our Equipment Accident Attorneys Can Help 

Our team has handled highly complex heavy machinery litigation on behalf of our clients. It doesn't matter what part of the country you are in, or where you were working. We can help. We've won over $20 billion dollars for people just like you. We have offices in Houston, Dallas, and Baton Rouge and can travel anywhere to meet you. As you'll see from watching our videos or reading our verdicts, our firm has a deep understanding of personal injury law. We know the best ways in which we can help our clients to put their lives back on track once more.

Give us a call today at (888) 493-1629 to speak with a top-rated attorney at our firm.

Common Questions

  • What Are the Most Dangerous Types of Heavy Equipment and Machinery?

    Any piece of equipment or machinery can be dangerous if it isn’t operated correctly, is improperly maintained, or is defective. Some of the most dangerous types of machinery include backhoes, loaders, forklifts, cherry pickers, farming equipment, cranes, excavators, dump trucks, industrial machines, trenchers, and warehouse machinery. The harm they cause is often catastrophic and can lead to the death of one or more innocent workers. Getting to the bottom of these accidents to give workers and their families the answers and help they need is our top priority.

  • If I Was Injured by Heavy Machinery, Is My Employer Responsible?

    Your employer is not automatically responsible for your work-related injuries, but if they carry workers’ compensation insurance, your medical bills, and a portion of your lost wages should be covered. Fault is a non-issue in workers’ comp claims because this type of insurance automatically covers all work-related injuries without the need to prove negligence or wrongdoing. However, some Texas employers do not carry workers’ comp insurance. Even if they do, workers’ comp benefits are limited. There are also situations where a third party (someone other than a co-worker or your employer) may have been responsible. In these situations, you may be able to seek compensation for medical care, lost income, and much more in civil court.

  • What Causes Heavy Machinery Accidents?

    Accidents involving heavy machinery and equipment occur when safety standards are not followed to the letter, when the equipment itself is defective, or when it is operated by untrained or careless workers. OSHA enforces strict regulations for all types of heavy machinery in an attempt to protect workers from serious harm, but some companies are lax in educating workers and enforcing safety standards. They may fail to perform routine maintenance or delay in completing repairs or replacing aging parts to avoid the expense and lost production. Heavy machinery manufacturers may also be to blame if they design or manufacture equipment that is defective and does not perform as it should or offer workers sufficient protection from harm.
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