In various industries, such as construction, manufacturing, and transportation, workers often operate heavy equipment and machines that can pose serious safety hazards. These hazards can range from minor injuries, such as cuts and bruises, to more severe injuries, such as amputations, burns, and fractures.
Machine-related injuries are more prevalent when standard safety precautions and guidelines are ignored. Studies reveal injuries resulting from contact with equipment are the fourth leading cause of nonfatal injuries involving several days away from work. Workplace accidents and injuries can impact your life, overwhelming you with substantial medical costs and worries about an uncertain future.
If you or a loved one has sustained machine-related injuries while at work, you could be entitled to worker’s compensation benefits. Unfortunately, filing your claim and getting compensation can be a daunting experience. At Renfro & Renfro, PLLC, our highly experienced workers’ compensation attorneys can help prove your claim, negotiate a fair settlement, and represent you at your workers’ compensation hearing. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Common Machine-Related Injuries at a Workplace
Machining environments can be hazardous places with many potential accidents waiting to happen. Here are the six most common machine-related injuries at the workplace:
Cuts and Lacerations
All sorts of workplace machines can leave the user nursing painful cuts and lacerations. Studies estimate that approximately 30% of workplace injuries each year involve cuts and lacerations, including scratches, abrasions, puncture wounds, needlesticks, and amputations. The common causes of these injuries include inadequate safety procedures, lack of proper protection, an employee taking shortcuts, and poor training on machine handling procedures.
Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI)
Improper machine handling and lifting techniques contribute to several injuries. Repetitive movements during daily activities can put a lot of strain on your body over time. For example, workers who face prolonged series of vibrations when handling machinery might sustain strain-related injuries that impact their posture for an extended period. Injuries of this type can be classified as:
- Repetitive motion injuries (RMD)
- Repetitive motion disorder
- Cumulative trauma disorder (CTD)
- Repetitive strain injuries (RSI)
- Occupational overuse syndrome (OOS)
Toxic Fumes Injuries
Running machines can produce toxic fumes that cause severe reactions when a worker is exposed to them without protection. When exposed to toxic fumes in the workplace, you may suffer grave injuries and occupational diseases such as lung and urinary cancers, respiratory diseases, and damage to the nervous system. If your machinery produces hazardous chemicals, protective equipment like respirators and safety goggles are indispensable whenever operating such equipment. Employers are required to provide a safe workplace complete with the right safety gear they need to avoid dangerous exposure.
Instability and Load Loss Injuries
Equipment and machines designed to move loads are often agents of severe worksite injuries and even deaths. When loads are packed or placed improperly, they cause instability and load loss triggering falls. Common injuries related to falling objects include crush injuries, bruises, fractures, breaks, strains, and sprains. Falling objects from heights can also strike a person on the head and cause severe or fatal brain or spinal injuries. Ensuring loads are stable and secured before lifting or transferring can reduce these accidents. Employers should also install overhead protection structures such as shelters and install catch platforms below hazardous work areas.
Lock-Out and Tag-Out Injuries
Lock-out and tag-out refer to procedures used to ensure machines and equipment are properly shut down and inoperable until maintenance work or repairs are completed. These procedures keep employees safe from faulty equipment that could otherwise injure or kill them when put in operation. Unfortunately, some employees and employers fail to implement industry-specific lock-out and tag-out procedures. When specific pieces of equipment or machines are improperly locked out, it may injure workers who are unaware of the existing faults with the machines.
Common lock-out and tag-out injuries include:
- Cutting and lacerating
- Fracturing body parts.
Hand tool-related injuries
Hand tools used in metal and parts fabrication processes can be a direct source of injury. Improper tool selection and mishandling increase strain on the worker and enhance the risks of injury. Injuries can also occur due to other reasons, such as excessive tool use, poor maintenance, and repairs of machinery, ineffective workstation design, and failure to comply with safety policies. Typical tool injuries include:
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Burned injuries related to sparks
- Loss of limbs
When hazardous machine accidents are caused by the negligence of an employer or other third party, you deserve to recover full compensation for your losses. A skilled and experienced workers’ compensation injury attorney can help you prove your injuries and negotiate the maximum possible compensation.
Contact Richmond, Virginia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
If you have been injured in a workplace accident and need help with your case, Renfro & Renfro’s experienced workers’ compensation attorneys are here to assist. We understand the most common machine-related injuries and other workplace accidents. The process can be complex and intimidating, so call us today at (804) 601-4433 or contact us online for a free consultation. Let our team guide you through your claim and help you receive the compensation you deserve.