While big machines in the workplace make hard work easier for everyone involved, they don't come without a human cost.
Unfortunately, there is a safety trade-off that comes with the labor-reducing benefits of large machines. Anything from a tractor to a die press could leave workers injured if the machines malfunction or if an accident occurs on the job site. Some of these machines are large enough to cause catastrophic injuries and even death. As such, it is incredibly important that California workers who deal with large machines understand the risk factors and have proper safety training.
Employers reliant on machinery should take steps to keep their workers safe
Whether the business is component fabrication, chrome plating or transportation, the specialized machinery that makes the business efficient and profitable also poses a risk to the workers. Employers must do everything in their power to keep staff safe, especially when they must work with or in proximity to large machines.
Adequate safety training is critical for reducing the potential danger to employees. Understanding how machines work, their range of motion, safety procedures and emergency shut-offs can reduce the risk of a catastrophic workplace accident. There should also be adequate signage in all appropriate languages near the machinery indicating how to operate a piece of equipment or stop it in the event of an emergency accident.
Workers should also have adequate safety gear, ranging from protective glasses to specialized shoes and gloves. It is legal for employers to require workers to buy their own safety gear. The machines themselves should be safeguarded to reduce the risk of an injury.
It is also incredibly important for your employer to maintain all machinery and equipment properly. Workers who help maintain or repair machinery should have special training, adequate tools and safety protocols in place to protect them from someone else starting up the machinery.
Machinery injuries often result in the need for extensive medical care
People who wind up hurt as a result of malfunctioning machinery or any sort of accident involving industrial, manufacturing or agricultural equipment can suffer catastrophic and life-altering injuries. Crushed limbs, severed extremities and limbs, spinal cord injuries and head injuries are all possible. Electrocutions can also happen, leaving a worker severely injured.
All of these potential injuries could result in extensive medical bills and a protracted leave from work. In some cases, employees may never be able to return to their career. Thankfully, workers' compensation offers benefits for those who suffer machinery-related injuries on the job.
Workers can anticipate receiving medical coverage, as well as compensation for lost wages. If employer negligence directly contributed to the injury or accident, there may also be the potential for a lawsuit against the employer to recover expenses beyond what workers compensation will pay.