The Perils of Heavy Machinery: Are You at Risk for Serious Injury?
Heavy machinery is an important part of construction. Construction vehicles significantly decrease building time by increasing productivity; cranes perform lifting functions once handled by pulleys and backbreaking human labor of lifting. A backhoe can dig a hole in a few minutes—a task that once required a team of workers with shovels.
Despite the gains in efficiency, working around these massive and powerful machines comes with an inherent risk. In fact, heavy machinery accidents are among the most frequent causes of workplace injuries on construction sites.
Construction Machinery Accidents
When a heavy machinery accident happens on a construction work site, it’s not just those on the ground that are in danger. The harsh reality is that everyone—including the driver or operator of that machinery—is within the danger zone.
Accidents involving the drivers of heavy machinery, including backhoes, front loaders, forklifts, and trucks, can be especially frightening. When an accident occurs involving an operator, it’s a good bet that he won’t escape without injury since he’ll be trapped inside the machine’s cab. However, no matter whether you were injured as the operator or as an unfortunate bystander, the outcomes of a heavy machinery accident are often severe. Common injuries include broken bones, serious cuts or burns, back or neck injuries, head injuries, and even loss of life. The human body is just no match for a backhoe, forklift, or other construction machine.
What Causes Machine Accidents?
There are many ways in which a heavy machinery accident can happen. While some cannot be prevented, many occur because someone was negligent in their duties. The cost of this negligence is grave and provoke the following machinery-related accidents.
- Rollovers. Rollovers occur when a machine loses balance and topples to the side. These accidents commonly occur when the operator loses control, the ground is unstable, or the machine is poorly maintained.
- Collapses. A collapse occurs when the machine buckles under the weight of its cargo and crumples to the ground. These accidents frequently occur with cranes.
- Malfunctions. A malfunction occurs when a machine loses its grip or fails to perform its job. The effects can range from loss of control to accidentally dropping a heavy item or items on workers below.
- Machine collisions. A collision is defined as when a machine runs over a worker or pins him between a hard surface. These accidents commonly occur when the operator loses control of the machine or the machine is left running but unattended.
Some of the accidents that occur to operators are unavoidable or inescapable. But this is rarely the case—since construction machines can’t move on their own, accidents can’t “just happen.” Negligence from an employer, supervisor, or fellow worker is generally to blame. as the result of improper maintenance, loading or unloading, handling, training, or planning.
The Texas workers’ compensation program was established to help protect workers like you from the backlash of work-related injuries. Because the program was established as a “no-fault” system, funds may be available to you even if you’re partially responsible for causing the accident. Regardless of whether you collect workers’ compensation benefits, you may also be able to recover damages in a personal injury suit. If you’re successful in pursuing your claim, the resulting settlement will help you pay for injury expenses, including medical bills, lost wages, and permanent or temporary disability.
No matter which option you choose, we highly recommend that you seek the help of an experienced lawyer to guide you through the process. A skilled attorney can help you minimize the stress of dealing with the legal red tape and maximize the amount of compensation you receive. For more information on how this process works, we urge you to schedule an appointment with attorney Steve Lee. This is your opportunity to discuss your case with an experienced construction accident attorney FREE of charge, and get the advice you need in order to move forward. There is no need to delay any longer. Pick up the phone and call 800-232-3711.
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