Protecting Your Rights
Manufacturing, industrial, and construction work sites are governed by OSHA’s safety requirements and regulations. Hiring an attorney experienced in product liability will give your family the opportunity to receive more than workers’ compensation.
At GoldenbergLaw, PLLC, our attorneys investigate accidents involving heavy equipment, machines with malfunctioning or exposed moving parts, ANSI standard violations, and poorly maintained equipment. We work with engineers and safety experts to show a manufacturer’s negligence.
Case Quick Facts
Industrial Machinery Injuries and Hazards
OSHA reports that workers who maintain and operate machinery fall victim to approximately 18,000 amputations, lacerations, crushing injuries, and abrasions per year.
Industrial Machinery Hazards
Crush hazards occur when two objects move towards one another or one object moves toward a stationary object. Equipment with crush hazards are most often used to bend, stamp, or form metals.
Shear hazards most often occur in machinery used for cutting or punching. The hazard is created when two parts move across one another, or closely enough to cut or move an object.
Nip hazards are created when there are one or more rotating parts that come in contact with one another. When the parts come in to contact and rotate in opposing directions an in running nip hazard is formed. Conveyor belts are an example of this type of hazard.
Employee exposure to unguarded or inadequately guarded machines has led to approximately 800 deaths per year.
OSHA and ANSI Violations
In order to provide adequate warnings and prevent design hazards, a hazard analysis must be performed by the manufacturer of an industrial machine. Unfortunately, these necessary safety precautions are sometimes overlooked. Defective Machine guarding is one of the most frequently cited violations for OSHA and ANSI.
Hierarchy of Hazard Control
Manufacturers of industrial machinery are responsible for the safety of their equipment.
Design – Most Effective: Manufacturers must do all they can to engineer out hazards in the design.
Guard – Effective: If the hazard is inherent in the product, it must be guarded. Areas needing guards include any point where motion or action occurs.
Warn – Least Effective: All industrial machinery must include a warning about potential dangers associated with the product.
GoldenbergLaw Can Help
Workplace hazards are often a traumatic experience. Not only do they cost you physically, but they also take a toll on you mentally and financially. You shouldn’t have to go through that alone. GoldenbergLaw is here to be your partner. We want to work with you to get the compensation that you deserve.
If you find yourself in need of a work injury lawyer, our Minnesota team would be happy to review your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.
“Jake” was a family man working in a factory that made wood chips. He often worked near the chipping machine, which was manufactured by a company out of state. The wood was loaded from the top of the industrial sized machine into a chamber, which then dropped down into the blades. One day when the machine jammed, Jake climbed to the top of the machine in an attempt to fix it. The platform overlooking the machine was covered in sawdust. As he climbed onto the platform, he slipped and fell into the machine. Due to the inability to stop the machine, Jake was unable to free himself and unfortunately was killed.
Jake’s family hired GoldenbergLaw. After hiring a design engineer, we discovered that the machine lacked the guarding that would have prevented a person from falling into the machine. Federal standards require guarding for such a situation, and we showed that a gate with an auto interlock guard would have turned off the machine if someone entered it. These preventative steps would have stopped a horrific situation from occurring. After litigation, we were able to obtain a substantial settlement for Jake’s family.
Among the factors to be considered in judging the acceptability of an exposed moving part are:
- The degree of exposure necessary to perform the intended function
- The sharpness of the moving part
- The likelihood of unintentional contact with the moving part
- The speed of the moving part
- The likelihood that a part of the body or clothing would be endangered by the moving part
These factors are to be considered with respect to both intended operation of the appliance and reasonably foreseeable misuse.
General Requirements for all Machines
ANSI 1910.212(a) (1) Types of guarding. One or more methods of machine guarding shall be provided to protect the operator and other employees in the machine area from hazards such as those created by point of operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips, and sparks.
Examples of guarding methods are: barrier guards, interlocked guards, two-hand tripping devices, electronic safety devices, etc.
Protection Against Casualty Hazards
19.2 The adequacy of a guard, a safety release, an interlock, etc. and whether such a device is required are to be determined from an investigation of the complete appliance, its operating characteristics and the likelihood of a hazard resulting from a cause other than gross negligence.
Acceptable Guard Requirements
A guard should: 1) Conform to the standards of the ASA or the state inspection department having jurisdiction. 2) Be considered a permanent part of the machine or equipment. 3) Afford maximum positive protection. 4) Prevent access to the danger zone during operation.