Work tools and power tools cause hundreds of thousands of injuries each year. Many of these injuries happen in the construction industry. However, work tools accidents can also happen in other fields such as road work, production and manufacturing, and the automobile industry.
Due to their moving parts and electrical powering, work tools can be dangerous to use. Work tools can result in serious work-related injuries, and in some cases, death. Below are some work tools accident statistics that were compiled from various sources such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics and OSHA:
- The incident rate for non-fatal injuries at work due to contact with objects or work equipment was 25.5 cases for every 10,000 workers.
- Contact with objects or equipment accounts for around 700 deaths per year in all industries.
- Around 6% of all workplace fatal injuries are directly caused by electrocution for companies employing 11+ workers.
- Surveys estimate that work tools and power tools cause an average of nearly 400,000 visits to the emergency room each year.
Here are some statistics on the number of emergency room (ER) visits per year caused by individual types of tools:
- Power nailers or nail guns: 37,000 emergency room visits/year
- John Deere-type Riding Lawn Mowers: 37,000 hospital visits a year
- Chain Saws: 36,000 ER visits/year
- Stationary Table Saws: 29,000 ER visits/year
- Snowblowers: 5,7000 ER Visits per year; 19 deaths recorded since 1992
- Circular or Rotary Saws: 10,600 ER cases/year
- Power Drills: 5,800
- Backhoes: Average of 38 construction fatalities a year
- Air Compression Devices: 2,400
- Wood Chippers: Average of 3 deaths a year
In addition to heavy machinery used at work, such as drills, industrial presses, etc., some work tools are also used in home settings for private use. These uses may also be dangerous, especially if the person is unfamiliar with the operation of such work tools. It’s important to exercise caution when using work tools.
Manufacturers recall hundreds of thousands of power tools and work tools every year. Failing to keep current on the status of a work tool can lead to serious injury. Both workers and employers should be informed of the dangers involved with product recalls and product defects.
What Are Power Tool Accidents?
When used safely, power tools are among a worker’s most valuable assets. When used unsafely, the same capabilities that make these tools so effective can also make them highly dangerous. Every year, thousands of workers miss work time after a power tool injury.
Human error isn’t the only way power tools can injure workers. The tools themselves may be dangerous due to how they were designed or manufactured.
If you incurred medical bills and lost wages due to an on-the-job power tool injury, your losses should be covered by your state’s workers’ compensation program. Additional compensation might be available to you if your injury was caused by a third party, like a worker employed by another company or the maker of a malfunctioning tool.
To learn about all of your options as an injured worker, use LegalMatch to find the best personal injury lawyers throughout the country.
How Common Are Power Tool Injuries?
Power tool injury statistics show how common injuries with machines are.
Every year in the U.S., power tool injuries result in approximately 400,000 emergency room visits, including both work and non-work-related incidents. More than 22,000 of these power tool accidents involve nail guns.
The leading cause of U.S. construction worker injury is contact with cutting or piercing objects, including power tools.
Table saw accidents result in 29,000 emergency room department visits per year in the U.S., including workers and non-workers.
What Types of Power Tools Injure Workers?
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) categorizes power tools according to their power source. The OSHA power tool categories include:
- Electric tools
- Portable abrasive wheel tools (tools with a wheel for cutting, grinding, polishing, or buffing)
- Pneumatic tools powered by compressed air such as chippers, drills, hammers, and sanders
- Hydraulic tools (most notably jacks)
- Liquid fuel tools (gas-powered tools like chainsaws, concrete saws, and brush cutters)
- Powder-actuated tools, such as a Hilti gun or Ramset gun.
What are the Dangers of Power Tools?
The OSHA notes that the following hazards are associated with different power tool categories:
- Electric tools present the risk of electrical burns and shocks (even a relatively small electric current can lead to death, and shocks at a height can lead to falls)
- Abrasive wheel tools can throw off flying fragments that injure the eyes, face and other body parts
- Pneumatic tools have several risks, including flying fragments, getting hit by an attachment or fastener and air hose tripping hazards
- Hydraulic power tools, when their recommended load limits are exceeded, can lead to a collapsed load and a crushing or struck-by accident
- Liquid fuel tools typically run on gasoline, which can burn, explode and give off dangerous fumes
- Powder actuated tools are similar to a loaded gun and present the same risks, including penetration, ricochet and explosion injuries as well as hearing damage.
Why Are Workers Injured by Power Tools?
Human error is a leading cause of power tool accidents. Human error with power tools can take several forms. A worker might be inexperienced, distracted, or improperly trained. A worker might use a tool in a way not recommended by the manufacturer. Another example is the failure by an employer to provide proper safety equipment for workers or to maintain equipment properly.
Power tool malfunction is another cause of worker injury. Tools should work properly when they are regularly maintained. Tools should be taken out of service when they are broken. However, some tools are inherently defective. Such tools present a risk of injury no matter how well they are maintained.
How Can I Find a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to Help With My Power Tool Injury?
A workplace injury involving a power tool might involve one or more parties, such as a tool manufacturer or a worker employed by another company. This could open up sources of injury compensation in addition to workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ compensation claims aren’t always as straightforward as they should be. Claim delays and even denials are possible and could set you back financially.
The same is true of paperwork and filing deadline errors. Workers are entitled to medical and lost wage benefits when they suffer a workplace injury.
To learn how an attorney can help you to overcome these issues and seek all possible sources of compensation, use LegalMatch to find an attorney near you.
An experienced personal injury or workers’ compensation attorney and will provide you with a free consultation about your case.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Work Tool Injuries?
Injuries caused by work tools can sometimes be very serious. You may wish to hire a lawyer if you need help filing a legal claim for damages. Your personal injury attorney can help determine your legal options according to the laws in your state. If there is an issue with a defective or recalled product, your lawyer can investigate those matters as well.