Industrial workplaces are inherently dangerous, which is why manufacturing facilities and factories have such strict safety requirements. Despite ongoing training, OSHA standards, and safety requirements, these facilities continue to have above-average accident rates.
If you work in an industrial facility, it’s important to know the common causes of accidents so you can take appropriate safety steps. After an injury, you may need to consult an attorney to get the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to receive. Set up a meeting with Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough, Howell, Huggins & Bradley by calling our Chatom office at 251-847-2237 or our Bay Minette office at 251-651-0483.
Quite a few industrial accidents can be traced back to mechanical issues. Industrial workplaces heavily rely on specialized equipment to get work done in a fast and accurate manner, and when a piece of equipment fails, it can have disastrous results.
This is why these types of equipment have strict maintenance schedules and recommendations. Furthermore, this is why so much of an employee’s time is spent performing routine checks and tests. Some examples of mechanical issues that may lead to injuries include:
- Power failure that crashes the machine
- Broken or worn-down parts
- Damaged parts caused by mishandling of the machine
- Wear and tear that may indicate that it is time to replace a machine
Despite the fact that these accidents are often preventable, they are still relatively common. This is often due to complacence. While employees or supervisors may start out doing routine checks, they may find them to be a waste of time when check after check reveals no issues. Routine inspections become less frequent until they stop completely, and mechanical issues aren’t discovered until they cause an injury.
The nature of industrial work puts employees at a heightened risk of injuries. Environmental factors present in industrial workplaces can leave employees injured or ill. These factors include:
- Sound pollution that slowly damages an employee’s hearing over months or years
- Low visibility leading to unsafe usage of machines and slips, trips, or falls
- Pollution that can cause breathing issues and diseases
- A too-hot work setting that increases the risk of an employee developing heatstroke or heat exhaustion
- A too-cold work setting that puts employees at risk of frostbite or hypothermia
In some cases, these circumstances are unavoidable. Some work settings must be kept at a strict temperature to preserve products or protect machinery. In this situation, extra time must be built in for frequent breaks to protect employees’ health. Others, however, are avoidable with proper cleaning, ventilation, and maintenance.
Human error is the most unpredictable factor in any workplace. As employees get more comfortable with their work, they may begin cutting corners and taking shortcuts that boost their productivity or help them get their work done more quickly. Unfortunately, these shortcuts often increase the likelihood of an injury. Examples include:
- Working beyond the point of fatigue, which significantly increases the risk of an injury
- Unsafe lifting techniques that increase the likelihood of a back injury
- Poorly maintained work area that invites slips, trips, and falls
- Ignoring or skipping safety procedures
Common Industrial Accidents in Alabama
Industrial accidents can lead to severe or fatal injuries, even when employees and supervisors take proper precautions. Some accidents reported by employees include:
- Falls from heights
- Slips or falls on a single level
- Equipment rollovers that injure the driver inside or people in the vicinity
- Blunt trauma from vehicles and moving equipment
- Employees getting stuck in equipment
- Employees getting crushed between pieces of equipment
- Amputations from defective tools or heavy equipment
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
As soon as you suffer a workplace accident, it is crucial to move quickly to prevent further damage. First, follow your company’s protocol for reporting the accident. From there, you must seek immediate medical attention at an approved facility.
The workers’ compensation process should be straightforward and simple, but there are employers that try to evade responsibility for employees’ injuries by denying claims or discouraging reporting. If that happens to you, it’s time to talk to an attorney.
Find Out How Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough, Howell, Huggins & Bradley Can Help You
Serving the areas of Chatom, McIntosh, Citronelle, and Jackson, the team at Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough, Howell, Huggins & Bradley is committed to helping injured workers get the compensation they are owed. If you’ve been injured in an industrial accident, let’s talk. Call our Chatom office at 251-847-2237 or our Bay Minette office at 251-651-0483 to set up a consultation now. You can also fill out our online contact form to have a team member reach out to you.