Workplace injuries can happen anywhere. Even in an office, injuries can occur. With that said, some workplaces are more dangerous than others. Working around heavy machinery is particularly dangerous.
Heavy equipment accidents can cause severe injuries, more so than other types of accidents. This page will discuss a few of the most common causes of heavy machinery accidents, along with some best practice tips for workplace safety around heavy equipment.
Common Causes of Heavy Machinery Accidents
The most common causes of heavy equipment accidents at work correspond with the most common causes of all workplace accidents.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the three most common causes of workplace injury in the United States are:
- Overexertion and bodily reaction;
- Falls, slips, and trips; and
- Contact with objects or equipment.
According to the NSC’s research, these three accident causes account for 84% of all nonfatal injuries in the workplace each year that cause employees to miss at least one day of work.
Overexertion and Bodily Reaction
Overexerting yourself while working with heavy equipment can easily cause an injury. Working with heavy equipment may include lifting parts of that machinery. If you overexert yourself in such a situation and drop a piece of machinery, you can easily injure yourself in many ways.
Overexertion can also cause fatigue, which presents a clear danger when working with heavy machinery. If you are tired or drowsy while operating a piece of heavy machinery, it is easy to make a mistake.
Operating heavy equipment improperly can easily cause malfunctions that can injure you.
The same applies if you aren’t working directly with the machinery itself. For example, if you are a spotter for a crane, a fatigued crane operator could easily strike you with the object they are carrying.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
A slip and a fall around heavy equipment is just as dangerous as overexertion. You might slip on the ground while someone is operating heavy machinery close by. In such an event, you could fall into or under the equipment.
If the equipment is in motion and you fall while it is coming in your direction, you could easily end up crushed. Even though it sounds relatively innocent in many situations, a slip and a fall while working around heavy equipment could easily cause a fatal injury.
Contact with Objects and Equipment
Contact with objects and equipment is likely the most common cause of heavy machinery injuries. For example, when working with heavy equipment that does any sort of sawing or cutting, physical contact with the wrong part of the machinery can cause serious injury instantly.
These types of injuries can easily cause enough damage to make you miss work for a significant period of time.
Best Practices for Avoiding Heavy Equipment Injury in the Workplace
The best way to avoid any heavy equipment injury is a multifaceted approach.
- Be sure to observe your workplace’s safety policies at all times;
- Always use personal protective equipment (PPE) and ensure that your PPE is in proper working condition;
- Only operate or work around heavy equipment that you are properly trained to work with; and
- Maintain awareness of yourself and your surroundings at all times.
If you are fatigued and unable to safely operate machinery, or your PPE isn’t working properly, tell your supervisor. Saying “I’m fine” when you aren’t is a potentially fatal mistake when you work with heavy machinery.
What to Do If You Are in an Accident with Heavy Machinery
Even if you follow all relevant safety protocols, there is always the risk of accidents. Heavy machinery is dangerous; there is no way around this fact. If you suffer an injury during an accident with heavy machinery, Contact Mehta & McConnell today.
At Mehta & McConnell, our board-certified workers’ compensation attorneys have over 30 years of combined experience helping injured workers. Whether your case is relatively simple or very complex, we have the experience necessary to help you recover.
If you suffer a workplace injury, you deserve compensation. Contact us online today for a free case review, or call us at 980-246-2495.