According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), every year, heavy machinery accidents in the workplace result in injuries to thousands of workers and the deaths of hundreds. If they survive, these workers may suffer from injuries that significantly impact the rest of their lives. Such accidents often require a personal injury lawyer to ensure workers are adequately compensated. Although heavy machinery accidents are commonplace, they are easily avoided by adhering to specific strategies.
The following list details the most common workplace heavy machinery accidents and describes OSHA’s strategies for prevention.
Getting onto or off equipment or machinery
OSHA lists this as the most common cause of workplace accidents. To ensure safety while doing this, examine your boots and gloves frequently to guarantee they are clean and in good condition. Always lower yourself from machinery and never jump off.
Loading or unloading equipment or machinery
Even when equipment is correctly situated on a flat surface, the equipment can roll over the worker, trapping or crushing them. Use a spotter when loading or unloading, and make sure there is adequate free space around the equipment to allow for a quick escape in the event of an accident.
Crowded work areas
The foreman of the worksite should consistently monitor areas to prevent crowding and force workers to move away from areas where they are not required for the operation of the equipment in use.
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Swing radius accidents
This type of accident occurs when the component of a piece of machinery strikes a worker during its usual path of operation. Rope off or secure the swing area of the machinery to avoid these accidents.
Operating equipment or machinery on a slope
When working on a slope, the worker must be aware of surface conditions and the limits of the equipment in use.
Buried or overhead obstructions
Hazards that are underground or overhead should be clearly marked to ensure they are visible to workers.
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This type of injury occurs when a piece of machinery is in reverse motion. A range of precautions should be taken during this time, including setting up a perimeter and employing a combination of wide-angle mirrors, back-up sensors, and back-up alarms.
Upset of equipment or machinery
Using a safety belt or seat belt is the primary way to prevent injury in the case of an equipment upset.
Instability or loss of load
When loads are improperly packed or placed within machinery, this can result in instability or load loss. Ensure loads are properly packed and provide them with a wide berth to protect workers from accidents.
Not following proper log-out/tag-out protocols
Such protocols exist to ensue any moving parts are in a locked position to secure the load. Not following them dramatically increases the chances of an accidental injury.
Following the practices listed above can drastically improve the workplace safety of sites involving heavy equipment or machinery. If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident and would like to discuss your situation, contact us at 419-843-6663 or online to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Michigan and Ohio personal injury attorney.
Kevin Boissoneault, is the President and Managing Partner of GT&B. He began his career at GT&B in 1992 and has built the Personal Injury section into one of the strongest and most successful firms in the region. His hard work and dedication as a compelling trial attorney and litigator has won many verdicts and settlements for his clients and their families. Kevin’s commitment to protecting those who have been injured through accident or negligence has brought justice for thousands of clients.