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Heavy machinery accidents

Many jobs in the greater Boston area involve working around heavy machinery. A few examples of machinery seen in the workplace are forklifts at a warehouse or large retailer, conveyor belts used in sorting and delivery operations, and machines used in production of many goods. Depending on the type of machine, there are different types of accidents that typically occur.

Machine Guarding Accidents:

The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to make sure all machines used by workers are properly guarded to prevent serious injuries and death. By guarded they mean having guards affixed to shield dangerous parts of the machine from being touched by workers while using the machine in its ordinary functioning condition.

In Boston, workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Office of Jeffery S. Glassman, LLC know absent guards too often results in human contact with moving parts resulting in serious injuries, such as crushed fingers or hands, amputations, burns, blindness, and death. OSHA requires any part of the machine that can cause these types of workplace injuries to be properly shielded to prevent such injuries from occurring.

OSHA also requires machines used at work to have a proper lockout mechanism for use when servicing a machine or performing non-standard operation. If an employee must access the internal components of a machine or enter an area in the danger zone, he or she should be able to place a lockout device on the machines controls that tell another employee someone is in the danger zone and prevents the machine from being operated. A common example of a machine requiring a lockout is the large trash compactor used in many big box retailers and apartment buildings. Often, an employee will have to go into the compactor to collect garbage that is stuck at the end of the dumpster. If another employee were to not realize there was someone in the compactor and start the hydraulic piston, the result would be serious personal injury or death of the employee in the compactor. To prevent this from happening, the worker is supposed to use a lockout device on the controls before entering the compactor. Unfortunately, these devices are not foolproof, and workplace accidents still occur.

Roll-Over Accidents:

Another common workplace accident in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts involving heavy machinery results from a forklift rolling over and injuring or killing the operator or other employee. Every day, in large warehouses and retail establishments, workers use forklifts to move wooden pallets of goods. These pallets are supposed have a maximum safe weight, and the forklift is designed to prevent itself from toppling over, but accidents still occur on a regular basis. When a forklift operator takes a pallet off the top shelf of a steel rack or the back of a semi-tractor trailer, if weight on the forks is greater than the weight of the forklift, it can fall over, causing serious injury.

Regardless of the cause of a heavy machinery accident, the injured employee should seek prompt medical attention and make sure than an accident report is generated. Having an accident report and hospital records of the injury will help your workers’ compensation attorney obtain and a full and appropriate workers’ compensation settlement.

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