There are a number of industries for which the use of heavy machinery is essential, including building and road construction, oil and gas extraction, and manufacturing. Those who operate this heavy equipment run the risk of serious injury from a variety of accidents, including falls, since much of this equipment towers well above the ground and these machines are often operated on uneven or unstable ground. They also face the risk of electrocution, should the equipment make contact with electrical lines. Of course, these machines also pose a serious risk to everyone else at a worksite, as well.
Unfortunately, many of those risks are exacerbated when companies decide to invest in defective equipment or they cut corners on either operator training or machine maintenance or both. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 4,500 US workers are killed on the job every year and millions more suffer a serious injury that they may ever recover involve contact with a piece of heavy equipment.
These common machinery accidents associated with heavy equipment include:
- Vehicle accidents – these can refer to work accidents with other heavy machinery, autos, trucks, and even workers, any of which can lead to serious injuries, some of them even fatal.
- Struck-by accidents – these happen when a worker accidentally runs into or is hit by a piece of heavy equipment as it moves through the construction worksite or a factory floor. In many cases, the worker is injured when they become pinned between the heavy machinery and something else. These injuries can be very serious, and even lead to a wrongful death.
- Falling objects – injuries can occur when a piece of heavy equipment either drops something it’s carrying or a part falls off of the machine. This is a common cause of machinery accidents with head injuries, as well as broken bones and other serious injuries.
- Machine entanglement – these types of injuries can occur when a worker’s hair, clothing, shoestrings, or another object is caught in a piece of heavy equipment. In some cases, fingers or arms can be seriously injured when a worker tries to clear some sort of jam or other problem with a machine without making sure the machine is powered down.
- Repetitive motion injuries – While these types of injuries seem to be generally less disruptive than many more traumatic injuries, they can often cost a lot of time and money and lead to a lot of lost work and medical care, including possible pain management, rehabilitation, and physical therapy, when muscles and tendons become severely strained or back and spinal pain results.
Workplace Heavy Machinery Can Be Defective
While many workers will be covered under workers’ compensation laws and cannot file a claim against the employer, a great many injuries that happen while working with or around heavy machinery may have nothing to do with employer negligence. In many cases, the machine may be inherently defective, or there may be a faulty design or a missing part. Perhaps your employer rented the equipment and the company who owned it did not maintain it properly. There may be a way to prove that a manufacturer or parts supplier was negligent.
Corpus Christi, Texas Heavy Machinery Injury Lawyers
Finding out what happened and who was responsible is the work of a Texas Workplace Accident Attorney, like the ones at the Gutierrez Law Firm. Our attorneys have the experience you need to thoroughly investigate and evaluate your case, so contact us as soon as possible, so that we can get started helping you protect your rights.