Many of the machines used on construction sites can be very dangerous if used improperly of if they malfunction. Smashed fingers or hands, amputations, burns, blindness, and broken bones are all commonplace injuries on worksites. On average 3,000 federal citations are issued for dangerous machinery yearly.
What Are Some Examples of Dangerous Machines?
Most of the machines with moving parts used on construction sites can be dangerous if used improperly or without proper safety precautions. Some examples include:
- Nail guns not used properly
- Mechanical power presses leading to amputations if not properly used
- Welding equipment leading to severe burns and eye damage if safety precautions are not taken
What Can I Do to Safeguard against Injury?
There are three basic areas of machines that need to be safeguarded:
- Point of operation areas - Where the work is performed on the material is an important area place safeguards (i.e. where cutting or shaping takes place)
- Transmission areas - Parts that transmit energy to the part of the machine that does the work should be carefully safeguarded (i.e. flywheels, pulleys, belts, and connecting rods)
- Other moving parts areas - All of the parts of the machine that are in motion when the machine is working should be safeguarded (i.e. rotating parts and feeding devices)
Are There Other Hazards to Machines?
Machines can make dangerous motions and actions. Some dangerous motions include
- Rotating members
- Reciprocating arms
- Moving belts
- Cutting teeth
These are common movements and actions to many machines that can easily catch clothing or move a body part into a dangerous position. Again, your employer is required to remedy any hazards under OSHA and s/he fails to you may be able to file a claim.
I've Been Injured by a Machine at My Worksite, Do I Need a Lawyer?
Depending on the nature of your injury you may be able to file a claim under OSHA against your employer of against the manufacturer of the machine. An experienced construction accident lawyer can advise you on whether you have a claim under OSHA or a products liability claim.