Common Industrial Accidents
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Industrial accidents include any kind of accident that occurs to a person in the course of their work. Industrial accidents are particularly common in high-risk work environments, such as oil fields, construction sites, and factories. These accidents often occur when safety regulations or protocol are ignored, and/or when protective equipment and work machinery are not regularly and adequately maintained.
Employers owe their employees a duty of care in these situations. This essentially means that employers are required to make even an inherently dangerous work environment as safe as possible by following industry regulated safety protocols, providing adequate equipment and machinery, and enforcing OSHA standards. When negligence occurs, accidents happen, and when accidents happen, injuries occur.
Some common industrial accidents include:
- Slip and falls
- Falls from heights
- “Struck by” accidents
- Malfunctions with equipment, tools, and machinery
- Exposure to dangerous chemicals
- OSHA violations
Poor management, supervision, inadequate maintenance, and defective equipment can all contribute to these accidents. It is essential that every workplace and especially those with inherent risks associated intentionally crafts a workplace culture of safety awareness and prioritization. Unfortunately, cutting costs and increasing profits are common motivators of safety oversights.
Common injuries of industrial accidents:
- Crushed limbs
- Fire and electrical burns
- Chemical burns
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Chemical exposure
- Toxic fume or smoke inhalation
- Hearing damage
- Eye injuries
- Muscle strain
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, seek immediate medical care in addition to informing your supervisor and your company’s human resources (HR) department if one exists. These two actions are essential, first to prioritize your health, and secondly to ensure that records exist of the accident and injury.
Most employers are required to maintain some level of workers’ compensation insurance.
Workers’ compensation, commonly referred to as “workers’ comp” exists to protect employers from being sued by injured employees, and to provide aid to injured workers who would otherwise struggle with medical bills and lost wages after an accident. In most situations, an employee receiving workers’ comp benefits cannot file a personal injury claim in addition. It should be noted that different states have different rules regarding workers’ compensation. For example, in Texas some businesses are not required to offer workers’ comp, in which case an injured employee could potentially sue their employer for damages such as their medical bills, lost wages, and more.
In general, an employee receiving workers’ comp benefits cannot also file a personal injury claim, except in rare circumstances.
However, there are some situations in which an injured employee might be eligible to file a personal injury claim in addition to workers’ comp. If a company refuses to provide an injured employer with workers’ comp, the workers’ comp benefits are insufficient to cover the employee’s damages, or if gross negligence was involved resulting in the accident, it’s a good idea to contact a workers’ comp attorney or personal injury lawyer to find out what your options are.
If you or a loved one were injured or killed in an industrial accident, seek legal counsel to learn more about your options and potential eligibility for compensation.