Accidents in the Manufacturing Industry
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), over 350 workers were fatally injured in manufacturing accidents in 2015. That is 350-plus hard-working employees who lost their lives while simply doing their job.
What makes this statistic even more tragic is that many of these deaths could have been prevented, had proper safety protocols been in place, and sufficient training programs were provided by employers.
Employees who work in the manufacturing industry face a unique set of safety concerns, including exposure to toxic chemicals, and machinery that is not properly maintained.
Common Causes of Manufacturing Accidents
- Slip and fall accidents: These are one of the most common causes of accidents, regardless of the work environment. Slippery, uneven surfaces, or areas that are filled with debris can increase the risk of these types of accidents.
- Repetitive motion and overexertion injuries: Workers can become injured if they repeatedly use the same muscles to perform a task, particularly if the task involves lifting heavy objects.
- Struck-by an object accidents: If an object is dropped, or falls because it has not been properly restrained, it can hit a worker, causing serious injuries. If the object is heavy, it can cause the worker to become disabled and unable to return to work.
- Caught-in machinery accidents: Large, heavy machinery is often used in the manufacturing industry. When an accident causes a worker to get caught in a piece of machinery, it often results in devastating injuries like amputations, crushed bones, spinal cord injuries, and even death.
- Exposure to toxic chemicals or other materials. There are a wide range of hazardous chemicals and materials that are used in the manufacturing industry. Exposure to these materials can cause a number of health complications, including burn injuries, asthma, lung disease, certain types of cancer, and more.
How to Prevent Manufacturing Accidents
Many workplace injuries are preventable, including those that occur in the manufacturing industry. The following tips can help workers avoid many common accidents that can result in serious, even fatal workplace injuries:
- Prioritizing safety starts at the top. The owners of the company, and people in management positions, set the tone of a company. As such, it is important that they make safety a top priority. Workers need to feel that their safety is just as important as their level of productivity.
- Hire supervisors who understand the importance of workplace safety. Workplace injuries often occur because employees have not been supervised in conjunction with the best safety practices for a specific environment. Supervisors play a key role in establishing and maintaining a safe work environment. Therefore, effective supervisors should have strong leadership skills, as well as a proven commitment to safety.
- Establish safety practices. Some of the most common manufacturing accidents include electrocutions, falls, and getting caught in moving equipment. It is imperative that employers keep all machinery well-maintained. Fall protection measures can prevent falls from heights; protective barriers can prevent hands, arms, and other body parts from coming into contact with dangerous machine parts.
- Establish safety procedures that are easy to follow. When a safety procedure is simple and easy for workers to follow, they are more likely to be compliant. Instructions should also be available in multiple languages, as needs be.
- Reinforce the safety expectations. Encourage open communication between supervisors and workers, so that safety expectations are very clear. Workers who consistently adhere to the safety standards should be recognized for their efforts.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Workers Injured in Manufacturing Accidents
If you or someone you know have been seriously injured in a work-related manufacturing accident, contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton at your earliest convenience. It is your employer’s responsibility to provide a safe work environment for all employees. Our dedicated team is committed to securing the maximum benefits that you deserve for any injuries or illnesses you may have sustained. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.