Whether you work in construction, manufacturing or auto repair, you may regularly use powerful machines and equipment. And unfortunately, at any time, these devices can cause devastating injuries. Too often, workers suffer burns, amputations or even death due to defective or dangerous machines.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identify accidents involving equipment are among the most common causes of traumatic workplace injuries. Thus, preventing these accidents must be a top priority for workers and employers.
Preventing accidents as a worker
If you work with heavy machinery, you can take the following precautions to stay safe on the job:
- Only operating equipment you have training and permission to use
- Immediately reporting any defects or broken components
- Shutting down machines that are not working properly
- Wearing protective gear like eye protection and gloves
- Ensuring there is adequate lighting
- Staying alert and visible on sites where others are using dangerous machines
- Keeping areas near the equipment clean
These precautions can help you avoid accidents caused by human error and unexpected malfunctions.
Preventing accidents as an employer
Employers may not be the ones directly using or operating equipment on the job, but they can do plenty to make things safer for the workers who do. Employers would be wise to:
- Provide adequate training to all workers using machines
- Place signs warning of machine-related risks in conspicuous areas
- Conduct regular equipment inspections
- Perform maintenance and make repairs in a timely manner
- Comply with state and federal regulations when hiring and supervising workers
- Shut down equipment that poses a threat to workers
- Investigate all reports and complaints regarding defective or dangerous machines
Employers who take these measures seriously make it easier for workers to avoid accidents with heavy machines.
Taking action after an accident
These measures can go a long way in preventing machine-related accidents on the job. However, accidents can and do still happen. Additionally, in Maryland, the Worker’s Compensation Act does not require an injured worker prove someone else was at-fault or that there employer was negligent. Rather, if an injury occurs arising out of and in the course of employment, an injured worker will be entitled to coverage for their injuries.
If you or your loved one is involved in this type of incident, you should know what options you have regarding compensation and who may be liable. Was it a defective machine? Was someone else negligent? Under these circumstances, legal action can be crucial in protecting injured parties and others who may still be at risk. These protection extends to workers who may even think they made a mistake and an accident occurred, resulting in an injury.