Risk of Injury for Factory WorkersNovember 28, 2017
Factories are full of complex machinery and heavy equipment with many moving parts that can cause serious injury if proper precautions are not taken. Additionally, hazardous materials used for production may be present, adding the risk for exposure to chemicals that can cause occupational illnesses. Fortunately, Maryland requires all employers to have Workers’ Compensation insurance to cover their employees in the event of a workplace injury.
Some of the many risks for factory workers include:
- Slip and Fall Accidents: Most factory facilities have concrete surfaces, so a slip and fall can result in serious head and neck injuries.
- Caught in/between Accidents: Moving equipment, like conveyor belts, pose the risk of a worker’s clothing or protective equipment getting caught and pulling the worker into the machinery. These accidents typically produce some of the most gruesome workplace injuries, including degloving, crushing injuries, amputations, and scalpings. Workers can also get pinned by moving vehicles, such as forklifts.
- Musculoskeletal Disorders: Certain jobs require the worker to stand, bend, crawl, or lift heavy objects all day long, putting significant strain on the body. Sprains and strains are commonly reported by these workers.
- Burns: Steam, hot equipment, electrical fires, and explosions are all sources of burn injuries. Serious burn injuries can require skin grafting and a prolonged healing period of multiple treatments.
- Repetitive Stress Injuries: Workers whose job requires them to repeat the same action repetitively, may develop soft tissue injuries in the area that is being used. Carpal tunnel syndrome is an example of a repetitive stress injury.
- Chemical Exposure: Sometimes a worker’s health can be directly affected by the environment around them. They may slowly become sick over many years from a toxin that exists in the workplace, or they could develop skin conditions or respiratory problems. Asbestos, arsenic, benzene, lead, and mercury are some of the toxins present in manufacturing facilities that can cause occupational illnesses. A worker can also be exposed to chemicals in a sudden event, like an explosion or leak.
- Hearing Loss: Occupational hearing loss is a result of exposure to loud noise or chemicals harmful to the inner ear. One in every four worker cases of hearing difficulty is due to work-related exposure.
The Occupational Safety and Health Organization (OSHA) issues strict regulations on workplace safety. While most employers are compliant, some are lax about implementing the safeguards that can prevent workplace injuries. Some of the steps employers can take to protect workers are:
- Issuing personal protective equipment that is appropriate to the task being carried out and that fits properly.
- Assessing risks that exist in the workplace and acting to eliminate them with measures, such as installing guards on equipment, using good housekeeping practices to keep the workplace clean and free of hazards, and proper ventilation of areas where chemicals are being used.
- Training workers about the risk of injuries and how to prevent them.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Injured Workers
If you have suffered an injury at work, the experienced Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton can provide you with legal representation. Our dedicated team will fight to make sure you receive the maximum allowable compensation for your case. Contact us online or call 844-556-4LAW (4529) today to schedule a free consultation. We have offices in Baltimore, Columbia, Towson, and Glen Burnie serving clients across the state of Maryland.