Construction employers have the duty to provide safe working environments and protect the people who work on their sites. Every day workers – including machine operators – face potential dangers that could lead to severe and debilitating injuries.
Heavy machinery such as power presses, milling machines and power saws must include properly fitted and secure guards to protect workers. These devices also must be properly maintained to ensure the safety of machine operators. However, sometimes, these guards may not be in place or non-functioning, potentially leading to a horrific accident.
Amputations, loss of sight and disfigurement
Machine guards must be durable and secure enough that workers cannot remove or damage them. In addition, machine guards should not impede a worker’s view in getting the job completed and prevent any part of the operator’s body from being in danger. In addition, machine guards must protect workers within the immediate work area.
Without machine guards in place, many hazards surface at construction sites. Those dangers may include rotating machine parts, in-running nip points, sparks, flying debris and caught clothing. Serious injuries may include:
- Amputations: Loss of finger tips, hands, arms, feet and legs may occur.
- Crushed or broken bones: Fractures to bones in the arms legs can cause serious injuries.
- Burns: Sparks flying from unprotected machines may lead to severe burns to the face and other parts of a worker’s body.
- Loss of sight: Debris may penetrate a worker’s eye leading to loss of sight in one or both eyes.
- Disfigurement: Injuries to the face may require a series of reconstructive and cosmetic surgeries.
- Internal bleeding: Blunt force and penetrating trauma may lead to damage to the internal organs such as the liver, spleen and heart.
- Spinal cord damage: Such injuries may lead to paralysis.
- Repetitive strain injuries: Regular vibrations from machinery may lead to repetitive strain injuries.
Serious injuries may surface. As a worker, you must be alert and careful, and understand that your employer has the responsibility to protect you.
Entitled to compensation
Machine guards can save lives and prevent injuries. But, sometimes, workplace accidents happen, potentially leading to a person no longer being able to earn a living. If your employer was negligent, you may be entitled for compensation.