Machines and equipment have played a major role in the workplace since before the Industrial Revolution. At that time, many machines made for an extremely effective production method, but one that was also very dangerous. Thankfully, safety standards have improved significantly over the years and employers are now held accountable for worker injuries. However, there are still thousands of workers that are injured, or killed, in accidents involving workplace machinery and equipment every year. Workers who are injured in machine-related accidents in Atlanta should contact a workers’ compensation attorney to find out more about their rights and filing a claim for compensation.
Common Machinery-Related Hazards and InjuriesMachinery and equipment injuries are prevalent in many workplaces, particularly for the manufacturing, agricultural, mining, and construction industries where work is machine-heavy. Thousands of different machines are used in these industries, presenting a number of mechanical hazards for workers, including:
- Possible entanglement in rotating shafts, pulleys, sprockets, or gears;
- Crushing dangers from hard surfaces moving together;
- Severing of body parts from scissor or shear action;
- Cuts or puncture wounds from moving or stationary sharp edges;
- Trips and falls on hoses, connections, or other equipment parts.
- Crushing injuries;
- Amputation of fingers, arms, legs, and other body parts;
- Cuts and lacerations; and
- Impact injuries from workers being struck by equipment.
Employer Responsibility for Safe Machinery/EquipmentAlthough accidents are inevitable, a vast majority of machine and equipment related injuries are preventable. Both employers and workers are an integral part of enacting the safety measures necessary to minimize machinery-related incidents. Employers are responsible for making sure that proper safety procedures are followed and that machines are maintained. Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) prohibits employers from disregarding safety features, but many supervisors still break rules hoping to cut-costs. This might include:
- Not supplying proper safety gear, such as gloves, goggles, and dust masks;
- Using low-quality equipment or parts;
- Neglecting machinery training sessions;
- Leaving broken equipment in the workplace; and
- Ignoring complaints regarding malfunctioning equipment.