Machine Entanglement Injuries
August 22, 2018
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 2.9 million people are injured in workplace accidents each year. Moreover, work-related injuries result in 5,000 fatalities annually. Those who routinely use machinery face numerous risks, especially if the machinery is defective. Workers have experienced devastating and sometimes fatal injuries.
While there are many ways a machine-related injury can occur, the most common machine-related injury is machine entanglement. When a worker’s clothes, shoes, hair, jewelry, or hands get caught in the machine, severe or even fatal injuries can occur. Workers have been scalped, lost limbs, or experienced permanent disfigurement after getting caught in or on machines while they are operating.
Machine Entanglement Most Common in Manufacturing
There are approximately 34,000 machine entanglement injuries in the U.S. each year. As the leader in workplace machine fatalities, it is not surprising that the manufacturing industry makes up the highest percentage, accounting for about 12 percent of these injuries. Agriculture, mining, construction, and waste material workers also show a high recurrence of machine entanglement injuries. While some industries may have a higher risk than others, however, a machine entanglement injury can happen in any industrial workplace.
Observing Proper Safety Measures Can Prevent Machine Entanglement Injuries
Employers and machine manufacturers have a responsibility to keep workers safe on the job. When the job involves machinery, employers and manufacturers must ensure that the machine is safe, fully functional, and well maintained. Machine entanglement injuries are more likely to occur when the machine is in some way defective or the proper safeguards are not in place. Machinery should be equipped with proper guards and emergency stop devices, and proper lock-out/tag-out procedures should be used at all times. If a piece of machinery has a defect, it should not be used until it can be fixed or replaced.
Employers should also train their employees to use the machines correctly and safely. This includes training employees not to wear loose clothing or jewelry and providing any necessary protective gear. In particular, employees should be trained to protect their hands, as they can get caught while operating the machine and cause temporary or permanent disfigurement. Hand injuries and other injuries to limbs can leave employees unable to work.
Workers who are injured in a machine entanglement accident are entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits to cover medical treatment and lost wages. Navigating the claims process can be difficult and requires thorough documentation of the circumstances surrounding the injury and the ensuing treatment. Many insurance companies will try to deny claims or avoid paying out the full amount. Having an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer by your side can help ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled. Workers whose injury was caused by a defective machine may also be able to pursue a third-party products liability claim against the manufacturer to recover additional compensation.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Provide Comprehensive Representation to Injured Workers and Their Families
The Philadelphia work injury lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP have the knowledge and experience to handle all types of workplace injury cases, including machine entanglement injuries and other hand injuries. We understand the complexities of Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation law and will be with you every step of the way to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia, Allentown, Lancaster, and Reading, we help injured workers throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call us today at 800-222-8792 or contact us online to review your case with a Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyer.