Getting caught in or between machinery or equipment is one of the most common causes of fatal injuries in the workplace. If you have been injured in an entanglement accident on the job, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. These types of accidents can occur in construction or any type of workplace setting that uses heavy machinery or equipment. Hair, fingers, shoes and clothing can get caught in equipment or machinery if proper precautions are not taken.
If you have been injured in an entanglement accident, it is important that you contact an experienced Los Angeles work injury lawyer who will remain on your side, fight for your rights and help ensure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries, damages and losses.
What Causes Entanglement Accidents?
Heavy machines, particularly those that rotate, which are commonly seen in construction and factory sites, commonly cause entanglement injuries. Heavy machinery construction accident can cause very serious or fatal accidents. It is a sad fact that many who operate these sites fail to understand the lethal dangers these machines pose and fail to take the appropriate precautions. It takes just a few seconds for an entanglement accident to take place. In those few moments, the injuries caused could prove catastrophic or even fatal.
Some of the common causes and scenarios for entanglement accidents include:
- Cutting or shear points where the parts of the machinery that are in motion have sharp edges
- Pull-in points, which are fairly common in a number of machines such as grinders or lathes
- Wrap points, which can be found in attachments to pulleys, spinning motor shafts and gears
- Pinch points that are common in machine parts such as pulleys, gears, sliding doors of machines and motors
Importance of Creating a Safe Work Environment
When heavy equipment and machinery are involved, it is important to maintain an environment that is safe and healthy for workers who operate them and work around them. Workers need the appropriate safety gear as well as proper lighting and other safeguards to prevent entanglement accidents. There are several ways in which employers and other responsible parties can create this safe working environment.
Employers have a duty to take the necessary steps to prevent injuries in the workplace. With regard to machinery and equipment the first step is to assess the risk involved. One of the most important steps is to determine what risks might arise when the equipment or machinery is used. Employers must then come up with a plan to minimize or eliminate those risks and hazards. Once the hazards have been identified, concrete steps must be taken to eliminate or reduce the dangers posed.
Adopting Safe Working Practices and Procedures
Here are some examples of effective safety procedures and practices with regard to heavy machinery and equipment:
- All hazardous equipment or machinery should be used only under supervision to make sure all safety procedures and instructions are being followed.
- Machinery or equipment should not be used without proper job and safety training.
- All workers must be warned against the tampering of safety devices or machine guards. Machines should not be used without the proper safety guards.
- The workspace around the equipment must be clean and clear of debris to prevent slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents that could also lead to entanglement.
- To avoid serious injuries, as well as defective machinery lawsuits, any defects or malfunctions in the machinery should be promptly fixed.
- Machinery and equipment should be routinely inspected and serviced. Any defective or worn-out parts should be immediately replaced.
Workers who operate machines or work near equipment should be instructed never to wear loose clothing or jewelry around the machinery. Hair that is long should be tied up. Equipment should always be powered down or turned off prior to cleaning or maintenance. Those who have been injured due to defective machinery are well advised to contact an experienced defective machinery attorney who can help guide them though the legal process.
Protective Clothing and Gear
Workers must be provided with personal protective clothing and gear when working with hazardous equipment to help prevent entanglement. Examples of safety clothing and gear include proper footwear, ear protectors, safety goggles, gloves and safety helmets. Workers should also be instructed about how to use this type of gear and when to use it.
Inspection and Maintenance of Equipment
Employers must have all machines and equipment regularly inspected and maintained to make sure they are in proper working order. Machines should also be regularly cleaned to prevent any type of damage, which could also pose injury hazards.
Pursuing Compensation for Entanglement Accidents
If you were injured as a result of an entanglement accident caused by an employer or some other party's negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for the injuries, damages and losses caused. In addition to workers' comp benefits, you may also be able to file a third party claim from a party other than an employer. Examples of third parties include contractors or sub-contractors, property owners, maintenance firms and manufacturers of defective products. If you have been injured on the job as the result of an entanglement accident, it is important that you contact an experienced Los Angeles work injury lawyer who can help you determine what your case may be worth and help secure maximum compensation for your losses. Call us for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.