The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that in one year alone, there were 341 fatal manufacturing accidents in American workplaces. For many, that statistic is staggering and likely shocking. For others, however, it is a daily reality they face when they go to work. The Highest Incident Rates of Total Nonfatal Occupational Injury and Illness Cases, 2014, published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, reported travel trailer and camper, mobile home, truss, prefabricated wood building, and truck trailer manufacturing as the industries in manufacturing with the highest rate of injury.
Injuries in the industry are often more severe and hold more complications than most other industries due to the large equipment, heavy machinery, and other dangerous objects or chemicals needed to perform job duties.
The Philadelphia metro area as well as the Allentown, Harrisburg, York, and Lancaster areas are home to dozens of manufacturing companies, warehouses, and shipping companies. Some of the ones we have litigated against on behalf of our clients are: Merck & Company, W.L. Gore, Lockheed Martin, E. I. DuPont Nemours & Company, Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer & Boeing.
The manufacturing industry has its own unique set of risks. While the construction industry is often seen as the most dangerous, not many consider what goes into the day-to-day functions of working with large machinery necessary that is necessary to get the job done. Examples of manufacturing accidents workers are at risk of each day include:
Being struck by machinery, equipment, or another object.
Being exposed to chemicals or materials that are dangerous by nature. Many companies use, store, or manufacture chemicals and other materials that could pose a serious risk to the health of workers if they are exposed. Complications due to exposure include risk for cancer, lung disease, asthma, breathing problems, and other serious health concerns.
Being involved in a machinery accident, especially being caught in a machine. These types of accidents can quickly lead to a worker losing a limb by it being crushed, needing amputation, or in a less severe situation, bones can be broken. In other cases, the worker is at risk for a head or brain injury, spinal cord injury, or even death.
Overexertion injury caused by repetitive motion. When the same muscles are used over and over again in the same motion each day, workers are at risk for developing a repetitive motion injury.
Slip and fall accidents. Workers are especially at risk when surfaces are wet, walking surfaces are raised and not properly protected, and when the areas where workers walk are covered in debris.
There are injuries specific to the manufacturing industry. While many of these injuries may be prevalent in other industries as well, the following are commonly found in manufacturing and warehouse environments:
Accidents in a factory
Electrocution or shock
Toxic chemicals that are industrial strength
While some manufacturing injuries are symptomatic of the work being performed, other injuries can be avoided completely with proper precaution. Causes include not taking enough breaks, improper rest, slips and trips, falls, and other workplace accidents. Often times, these are caused due to safety violations or hazards that could have been avoided.
Avoiding manufacturing accidents can be as simple and giving workers enough breaks, adhering to safety codes, and some simple tips including:
Have proper safety equipment for each employee.
Supervise employees, especially those who are new, while working.
Proper safety training for every employee.
Provide a facility that is free of all foreseeable hazards.
Keep equipment and machinery in good condition with proper maintenance.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a workplace accident in the manufacturing industry, you may be eligible for benefits. Our team of Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at The Borjeson Legal Group can help put your case together for the best possible outcome. Contact us online or call today to schedule your free consultation. With offices in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout the area including Bala Cynwyd, Merion Station, Darby, Upper Darby, Sharon Hill, Wynnewood, Narberth, Clifton Heights, Folcroft, Lansdowne, Glenolden, Drexel Hill, Havertown, Cheltenham, Ardmore, Norwood, Holmes, Essington, Elkins Park, Prospect Park, Gladwyne, Chester County, Delaware County, and Philadelphia County.