Dangerous & Defective Equipment Accidents
Injury by dangerous, defective or unsafe equipment is a tragically common occurrence in the workplace. While an injured worker may be entitled to workers' compensation and disability benefits, a third-party negligence claim may also be pursued in the wake of a serious or fatal accident involving dangerous or unsafe equipment.
The work accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman in Boston are dedicated to fighting for the rights of injured workers and their families. We know what it takes to prove equipment defective, or show the type of negligence on the part of an employer that so often leads to serious or fatal injury in the workplace.Our Law Firm Can Help Prove a Dangerous and Defective Equipment Case
Whether dealing with heavy equipment on a job site or manufacturing equipment installed in a plant, dangerous and defective equipment cases can be complex. Accidents may involve the manufacturer, those responsible for installation, maintenance crews, supervisors or co-workers. Conducting a thorough review often requires examining the fault of multiple parties against complex state and federal regulations.
Contacting an experienced law firm as soon as possible after such accidents occur is vital. Employers will often take steps to correct dangerous situations and OSHA will typically launch its own investigation. Contacting an experienced Massachusetts personal injury law firm can help preserve evidence and protect your rights throughout the process. Often in these cases, the employer will blame an employee for the events leading up to injury.
Having an experienced law firm at your side can also assist you in dealing with doctors, hospitals and insurance companies. In many cases, the injuries are quite serious and the long-term prognosis is somewhat clear cut. This can include amputation injuries, crush injuries and loss of eyesight. But in other cases, including neck and back injuries, traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries, the long-term prognosis is much more complicated. Too often, injured employees will count on workers' compensation insurers and on their employers to do the right thing. By the time the employees realize that they are in well over their heads in representing themselves in a workers' compensation claim, permanent damage may have already been done to the employees’ ability to make a recovery.Dangerous and Defective Equipment Work Accidents in Massachusetts
Workers are at risk of injury from a wide variety of equipment used on the job. Even a basic ladder can cause serious injury when it’s defective or used improperly.
Work equipment defective in design/manufacturing or lacking adequate instructions and warnings is dangerous and unsafe. These types of work equipment include the following:
- Factory machines and conveyor belts
- Dump trucks
- Nail guns
- Welding equipment
- Ladders and scaffolding
Workers can sustain serious and even deadly injuries when working with and around dangerous and defective equipment. Workers who haven’t received adequate training or haven’t been provided with proper personal protective equipment are at an increased risk of injury, as are workers who are expected to work with equipment that’s broken or has been poorly maintained.
Some other common causes of dangerous and defective equipment accidents include:
- Unapproved use
- Improper installation or assembly
- Negligent safety measures
- Ignored risks
- Expected work output too high
In addition, workers can be injured when they are struck by equipment, become caught in equipment or are crushed by equipment.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says employees are at an increased risk of suffering an amputation when they use equipment that lacks appropriate safeguards. According to OSHA, most amputations involve fingertips.
OSHA has compiled a list of work equipment that’s not only dangerous but presents a high risk of amputation:
- Mechanical power presses
- Power press brakes
- Printing presses
- Roll-forming and roll-bending machines
- Food slicers
- Meat grinders
- Band saws
- Drill presses
- Milling machines
- Shears and grinders
Employers have an obligation to provide employees with safe workplaces including safe equipment. There are two basic types of machine safeguarding that can prevent amputations and other injuries. Guards provide physical barriers to a piece of equipment’s dangers and should be strong and secure enough that an employer or worker can’t bypass or remove them. Devices help prevent a worker from coming into contact with “points of operation.” The point of operation is where a specific task such as cutting, shaping or boring is performed on a machine. A device can stop the machine’s cycle and prevent or mitigate an injury.
A number of the 10 most frequently cited OSHA standard violations in 2018 were related to dangerous and defective equipment, including ladders used in the construction industry and machinery and machine guarding.Statistics on Fatal Equipment Work Accidents
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported these statistics pertaining to fatal work injuries in 2018:
- Incidents involving contact with objects and equipment saw a 13% increase, which is related to a 39% increase in workers caught in running equipment or machinery and a 17% increase in workers struck by falling equipment or other objects.
- Transportation incidents accounted for 40% of all work-related fatalities.
- Logging workers, fishers, aircraft pilots and roofers had fatality rates more than 10 times the all-worker rate of 3.5 fatalities per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers.
If you’re dealing with a serious or fatal work injury in Massachusetts, contact the Boston personal injury lawyers and wrongful death attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.