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Fatal Injuries From Heavy Equipment Accidents

heavy machinery

“GregoryPrudenProject2Shot4”by Gregory Pruden is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded a total of 5,190 fatal work injuries in the United States. This was a 7% increase since 2015 Over the past three years, the rate has continuously increased. Lastly, 2016 was the first time more than 5,000 fatalities have been recorded since 2008. Out of these fatal injuries, over 750 resulted from injuries with equipment, such as heavy machinery. One of OSHA’s Fatal Four constructions includes when a worker’s body is caught, crushed, squeezed or compressed between two objects, such as machinery.

Heavy equipment include:

  • Excavators,
  • Backhoes,
  • Bulldozers,
  • Graders,
  • Cranes,
  • Pavers,
  • Compactors,
  • Dump Trucks, and
  • Pile Boring and Driving Machines.

Recently, an accident in Algonquin involving an excavator injured a construction worker. The accident killed a construction worker pinned between an excavator and a concrete Jersey barrier while working on a bridge.  An excavators is also called a digger, JCB, mechanical shovel, or 360-degree excavator. Additionally, many call tracked excavators “trackhoes.”

What Are Common Heavy Equipment Accidents?

With work accidents on the rise, workers need to know what to watch out for and what types of accidents frequently occur.

Some of the most common heavy equipment accidents include injuries caused when:

  • A vehicle backs up due to a large blindspot,
  • An object falls or strikes someone,
  • Moving machinery strikes an individual,
  • Machinery breaks,
  • Structures collapse, or
  • Falling from machinery.

Severe injuries can occur including spinal cord injuries, head and neck injuries, other broken bones, concussions, electrical burns, amputations, and in many unfortunately circumstances, death. Workers who suffer injury face high medical costs and lost wages from time away from work. As always, recovery can become very difficult.

OSHA requires that the employer teach each employee how to avoid unsafe conditions. Additionally, the employer must instruct on any applicable regulations. They have a duty to control or eliminate any hazards or other exposure to illness or injury. Next, employers owe their employees a duty of care to provide safe working conditions and proper equipment. If they fail to abide by OSHA regulations, the safety of their employees is at stake. Lastly, negligence has occurred if they breach their duty of care result in an injurious accident.

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in an accident on a job site, contact an experienced injury lawyer. The attorneys at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. have decades of experience in helping injuries workers. Contact us today for a free consultation at (847) 357-0403.

 

About the Firm


Ronald F. Wittmeyer, Jr. practices plaintiffs' personal injury law at his office in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

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