What Are the Most Dangerous Industrial Machines?
Millions of industrial workplace injuries take place each year, causing thousands of senseless deaths. Whether they result from employer or operator negligence, lack of training, or machine defects, there are laws in place to hold both individuals and enterprises accountable. Here are some of the most dangerous pieces of equipment, their workplace uses, dangers, and the injuries that result.
Skid Steer Loaders
A skid steer loader, made by John Deere and other manufacturers like Bobcat and Caterpillar, is a type of compact tractor that has a frame that can be used for a variety of industrial tasks.
- Uses—Skid loaders are versatile machines have a variety of attachments including brooms, augers, trenchers, cutters, shredders, mulchers, hammers, backhoes, buckets, blades, scrapers, planers, forks, spears, grapples, rollers, rakes, tillers, snow attachments, and steel tracks. These so-called “masters of multitasking” are used in:
- Dangers—Workers are at risk of accidents caused by rollover, run-over, backing-up, and getting pinned by these machines.
- Injuries—Impact damage to the brain and/or spine, broken bones, lacerations, crushing injuries, and amputations are potential skid steer accident injuries.
Skid steer accidents, similar to those experienced by other types of diggers and excavators, can expose workers to serious risks. In one instance, a Michigan man was fatally pinned beneath the bucket of a Bobcat skid steer loader. In another wrongful death case, a construction worker was allegedly killed after he was struck by a silently reversing John Deere 326E skid steer.
An obtained John Deere manual listed a backup alarm as an optional equipment item. Even though a backup signal would appear to be a critical, basic safety feature included on such a dangerous piece of equipment, it was not. This is the kind of evidence an experienced machine accident injury lawyer seeks out and develops for your case.
Millions of industrial workplace injuries take place each year, causing thousands of senseless deaths.
A crane is a machine equipped with cables and pulleys that sits atop a platform or tower. They are often temporary structures mounted to the ground or on vehicles, with the operator housed in a cab that moves with the crane.
- Uses—Cranes are utilized to lift, turn, and lower materials, often heavy pieces of equipment, building materials, or shipping containers. Cranes can be found in operation for jobs in:
- Dangers—Overloaded cranes may drop materials, cables could break, and adverse weather conditions may cause lifted materials to move improperly and unpredictably.
- Injuries—Crane operators could suffer electric shocks or fall from potentially deadly heights while working, and other employees on the ground or near the crane are at risk of blows from the moving parts of the crane, falling materials, or swinging objects.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an average of 42 fatal crane injuries each year, most of which (about three-fifths) occurs when a worker is struck by an object or equipment. Those who are injured require compensation for their medical costs and lost work, and those who bury a loved one deserve the full restitution available for such an irreplaceable loss.
Forklifts and Pallet Jacks
A forklift is a compact vehicle with a pronged device at the front for lifting and transporting heavy materials. A pallet jack is the most basic form of a forklift, and is often found in use moving loaded pallets on trailers and in warehouses.
- Uses—Sliding underneath a heavy platform, box, or crate to lift the load and drive it to a new location. They can be found far and wide in industries like:
- Dangers—Forklifts have a high risk of tip-over as the weight they carry can overwhelm the small vehicle, especially if it’s unbalanced or unstable. Maneuvering is difficult on a forklift, with blind spots creating crash dangers.
- Injuries—From pallet jacks to the most powerful forklifts, there is a greater likelihood of pinching, crushing, and amputation injuries. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) estimates there are 34,900 injury-causing forklift accidents each year, and between 85-95 fatalities. That averages to about one preventable death every 4 days.
According to OSHA, approximately 11% of all U.S. forklifts will be involved in an accident each year. Roughly 36% of forklift-related deaths happen to pedestrians who have no control over the forklift operation. The Industrial Truck Association (ITA) reports that forklift trucks have a useful lifespan of about 8 years, after which continued use may cause increased dangers.
Machine rollovers, crushing injuries, falls, and entanglements are extremely dangerous to life and limb. After an incident, your attorney experienced in machine accidents works to locate the source of the failure—this is where liability lies. Preventable injuries due to defective machines, inadequate training, or negligent behavior (like removing safety protections for the sake of speed or convenience) are all unacceptable.
Your lawyer from The Lyon Firm will seek and prepare the evidence needed to hold the employer, manufacturer, property owner, or other responsible parties accountable. By identifying the liable party, you are able to access the financial resources and compensation you’re entitled to receive.
How Can You Contact a Machine Accident Lawyer?
Manufacturers like John Deere, Bobcat, and Caterpillar have a duty to list all risks of their machines in a safety manual. Employers have a responsibility to make sure workers are well-trained before they operate industrial equipment. You are entitled to clean, safe working conditions just like every other employee in non-industrial workplaces.
If an industrial accident injury is caused by defective machinery, the litigation path may be complex, but that is the job of an experienced product liability attorney. Likewise, if you were harmed by negligence, your lawyer gathers the evidence needed to prove a personal injury case. If you were injured in a workplace accident, your only job now is to heal, and hire an attorney to do the rest.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated and experienced workplace injury and product liability injury attorney. He is well-versed in the science, economic impact, and human loss that an injury or death has on a worker’s life and their family. Joe Lyon is ready to personally receive your call, and his office is here to support your journey towards justice. Contact The Lyon Firm today at 513-381-2333 for industrial-strength representation.
Client Testimonials for The Lyon Firm
Hear what previous clients have to say about the service they received at The Lyon Firm:
Mr. Joe Lyon went above and beyond what was necessary in helping me through every step of my toxic exposure wrongful death lawsuit. He showed actual concern and empathy for my situation. All I can say is thank you for everything.
– Lance G.
Mr. Lyon assisted our family with an employment dispute issue. He was extremely professional, responsive and achieved a result that exceeded our expectations. I have continued to use him for my own business needs.
– Christopher B.
In a desperate life-altering crisis, Joe Lyon quietly entered my life. Joe came respectfully, professionally, kindly, and beneficially towards our family. I felt he was Heaven sent. It has been an honor to know and work with Joe.
– Marlene B.
Why are these cases important?
Serious injuries and accidents often result through no fault of the injured party, yet the injured victim suffers from life altering physical, mental and financial losses. Such economic and human losses can have devastating financial consequences on individuals and families if not properly compensated. Tort law allows those individuals to seek just legal recourse through personal injury lawsuits.
Industrial Machine Accident FAQs
Industrial workplaces are those in building, farming, and manufacturing. They include outdoor construction and agricultural work, as well as indoor warehouses, factories with assembly line environments, and shipyards.
Workers should be aware of the following safe operating procedures:
- Operate machinery only from the designated compartment
- Stay seated and seatbelted when operating
- Load, unload, and turn machines on level ground
- Never exceed the model’s recommended load capacity
- Keep bystanders and other workers away from your work area
- Never modify or remove safety devices
Employers are also obligated to maintain industrial machines in safe operating conditions, free of mud, ice, snow, or debris.
Workers’ compensation and other forms of employment insurance may offer you initial sums after an on-the-job injury or incident. It is important to sign nothing before reviewing your options with an experienced workplace accident lawyer.
The amount first offered can be negotiated by your attorney to cover all of your present and future expenses (including ongoing medical care). If the amount is insufficient to cover your actual costs and losses, a lawyer may file a suit on your behalf to secure the full compensation deserved.
Time is of the essence when it comes to the filing deadlines associated with personal injury cases. The timelines vary from state to state, and they depend on the type of injury. For example, The Lyon Firm is located in Ohio, where injured workers have as little as one year to file a claim from the date of the workplace injury or death. However, for claims that involve occupational disease (like toxic exposure), workers have up to two years to file a claim.