Industrial Accident Attorney
John T. Flood is an attorney in Corpus Christi, TX who focuses on industrial accident cases. Call (361) 654-8877 today for a free initial case evaluation.
Due to the nature of most industrial jobs – such as manufacturing, fabrication, and construction – workers are often required to use heavy machinery, high-powered equipment, and dangerous chemicals daily.
Causes of Workplace Accidents
It’s an unfortunate fact that accidents often occur at work. Accidents do not discriminate by the type of job, worker, or industry; however, those who handle heavy equipment, machinery, and chemicals are more susceptible to being injured by employer negligence that puts them in harm’s way. Workplace accidents can happen for a variety of reasons in the industrial sector and will differ in severity by the work being performed at the time of the accident. Workplace industrial accidents can be preventable when companies enforce adequate and quality safety standards for all employees.
Lack of Safety Training
Employers are responsible for providing quality training for employees on workplace safety and how to properly perform their duties free of harm. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration has an exhaustive list of federal safety requirements for employers that includes the following regarding training:
- Establish or update operating procedures and communicate them so employees follow safety and health requirements
- Provide safety training in a language and vocabulary workers can understand
- Develop and implement a written hazard communication program, and train employees on the hazards they are exposed to and on proper precautions
Lack of Protective Barriers and Safeguards
Industrial jobs require employees to work with dangerous equipment regularly. Employers must protect employees by safeguarding such equipment and machinery and properly storing hazardous chemicals. When companies ignore safety measures, employees’ lives can be put in imminent danger.
Employees can be seriously injured or even killed when machinery and equipment lack protective barriers. Employees can become caught in or stuck in machines without proper guarding as well as fall into heavy equipment or chemicals lacking protective barriers. According to OSHA, employers are required to undertake the following safety measures with regard to heavy machinery and equipment:
- Provide at least one method of machine guarding to protect the operator and other employees in the machine area from hazards, such as those created by rotating parts, flying chips, and sparks, among other causes.
- Affix guards to machines where possible and secure them otherwise if for any reason a guard attachment is not possible. The guard must also not provide an accident hazard itself.
- Ensure the point of operation of machines is guarded so employees do not come into contact with it.
- Guard revolving drums, barrels, and containers with an enclosure interlocked with the drive mechanism, so the barrel, drum, or other such container cannot revolve unless the enclosure is in place.
Lack of Personal Protective Equipment
In addition to safeguarding equipment, employers must also provide employees with personal protective equipment (PPE) at no cost to the workers. OSHA requires the following regarding PPE in the workplace:
- Hard hat for overhead impact or electrical hazards
- Eye protection with side shields
- Gloves chosen for expected job hazards (e.g., heavy duty leather work gloves for handling debris with sharp edges and/or protective gloves appropriate for handling chemicals)
- ANSI-approved protective footwear
- Respiratory protection as necessary, including filtered face-pieces for dusts and mold
Industrial Accident Injuries
Industrial accidents can inflict catastrophic injuries with long lasting pain and trauma. Common injuries suffered in industrial accidents can include:
- Broken bones or fractures
- Severe burns
- Deep cuts or lacerations
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
These injuries can have a devastating impact on a person’s livelihood and loved ones.
Industrial Workplace Accident Attorneys
All workers have the right to work and return home safely. It’s an unfortunate reality that companies continue to fail employees by ignoring safety guidelines and federal laws designed to protect workers.