Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) data reveal that “caught-in/between” accidents are consistently among the organization’s top four causes of workplace fatalities each year. In many of these caught-in/between accidents, a piece of heavy equipment or industrial machinery is involved. As an industrial worker, what are some of the most dangerous pieces of heavy machinery around the average jobsite that you should try to avoid and be extra careful while using?
Five of the most dangerous industrial equipment around a jobsite or construction zone are:
- Cranes: The easiest way to lift something heavy to a higher point in an industrial setting is by utilizing a crane. Even if a heavy object only needs to go up one flight of stairs, the proper use of a crane could help save workers from serious back strain. However, the misuse of a crane is a recipe for a potentially deadly “struck-by” accident, which is also listed in the OSHA Fatal Four. Always be aware of where cranes are being used, stay well away from anything it is lifting, and always wear a hardhat when required.
- Dump trucks: The simply designed dump truck can also be the source of fatal industrial accidents when safety takes a backseat. Dump trucks are typically used to load up refuse, debris, and garbage before hauling it away to a designated disposal site somewhere else in the construction area or even an entirely separate location. Disaster can strike if the dump truck operate makes the truck release its haul without checking to see if anyone is standing behind it.
- Bulldozers: According to OSHA, bulldozers can be involved in 20% of jobsite accidents in a given year. This high percentage can be attributed to the commonality of bulldozers, as well as user error. Bulldozers are great for moving incredibly heavy or bulky objects around a jobsite, but bulldozer operators often complain that it is difficult to clearly see the area around the industrial vehicle while it is in use. Bulldozer accidents often result in crush injuries due to people being hit by, trapped in, or run over by the bulldozer without the operator noticing.
- Excavators: For landscaping and demolition projects, an excavator is a jobsite must. This piece of heavy equipment is designed to rotate a full 360-degrees on its central pivot point, allowing the operator to work in an impressive radius. However, the same rotating design of an excavator is what can make it dangerous when a negligent or inexperienced worker is operating it. The bucket at the end of the boom can be swung with surprising speed, potentially crashing into nearby workers who are not given adequate warning that the equipment is in motion.
- Backhoes: The backhoe looks like a bulldozer combined with an excavator. As such, it combines some of their unique versatilities as well as some of their potential dangers. Backhoe operators need to be mindful when swinging the boom, lifting and lowering the loader, and driving the vehicle in either direction.
If you’re hurt at work by a piece of heavy machinery or an industrial vehicle, then you should seek workers’ compensation benefits. You should be entitled to benefits, even if you were the one operating the piece of heavy machinery that caused your injuries because workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. To learn more about your rights as an injured worker in Chicago, call (312) 487-2513 to speak with the attorneys of Leonard Law Group.