7 Common Industrial Accidents
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Michael Chaloupka with Metier Law Firm.
Industrial work environments may present certain hazards that are not present in other workplaces; however, this does not mean that industrial environments are inherently more dangerous. Strict safety protocol and industry-specific regulations exist to ensure that industrial workers remain safe on the job; that said, when these regulations are not closely followed, serious accidents can occur.
Employers have a strict duty of care to the safety of their workers, which means that employers could be liable when accidents occur that could have been prevented by paying proper attention to safety. While in most cases it is not possible to file a claim against the employer while receiving workers’ compensation benefits, events caused or contributed to by the negligence of the employer may be an exception.
7 of the most common industrial accidents include:
- Slip-and-falls or trip-and-falls
- Falls from heights
- Struck-by accidents
- Malfunctions with equipment, tools, and machinery
- Fires and explosions
- Exposure to dangerous chemicals
Injuries resulting from these and other industrial accidents may include crushed limbs, amputations, burns, head injuries, and more. Regardless of the apparent severity of an injury following an industrial accident, it’s important to seek medical care. Even injuries that may seem minor at first could worsen with time, but may be much harder to validate after the fact without a medical record documenting the start of the injury. Unfortunately brain injuries are a common example of this, as they often go undetected until family and friends start to notice changes in the victim’s personality, behavior, and cognitive function.
If you were injured in an industrial accident, consider the following steps:
- Inform the employer. First and foremost (barring emergency medical care), it’s important to inform the employer that an accident has occurred. Whether this means contacting the employer directly or simply informing a supervisor, it’s important to make sure the employer knows what’s going on.
- Seek medical care. If you were not already taken to a hospital for emergency medical treatment, it’s important to see a doctor right away. Not only can waiting to seek medical care have a negative impact on your case further down the road, but it could also allow hidden injuries to develop unchecked, making them harder to treat and recover from.
- Document the scene of the accident. It’s important to document the scene of the accident; pictures of the injury itself, including where the injury occurred, as well as photos or a video of any contributing factors can all help prove how the injury came to be and who was liable for any dangerous conditions. If the worker in question is too injured to document the scene of the accident for themself, a coworker, friend, loved one, or even a workplace injury attorney can do so on their behalf.
- Talk to HR. It’s important to follow up with your company’s human resources or HR department if it has one. This is a good way to ensure that the process of filing and receiving workers’ compensation benefits begins right away to help with some of the immediate medical bills and lost wages. If your employer does not have an HR department, it’s important to follow up with the employer via email and refrain from accepting any offers from the employer to cover your damages, as this is not an official settlement but could bar you from making a fair recovery in the future.
- Talk to an attorney. If you suspect an industrial accident in which you were injured was caused or contributed to by another party’s negligence, it’s important to reach out to a workplace injury attorney for a free consultation to discuss your options for recovery. Similarly, if you are experiencing any issues or delays with your workers’ compensation claim or benefits, it’s a good idea to talk to a workers’ compensation attorney about protecting your rights as an injured industrial worker.
To learn more about common industrial accidents, or for help filing an injury claim after a workplace injury, reach out to a workplace injury lawyer in your area.