The manufacturing industry is a common setting for serious workplace accidents and injuries in North Carolina. If you’ve been injured by a manufacturing workplace accident, you are probably filled with stress and questions about your future. How are you going to pay your bills? When will you be able to get back to work? What will you do until then? Read on to learn more about manufacturing workplace accidents and what you should do when you’ve been injured.
Common Work Related Manufacturing Accidents
The primary reason that workplace injuries in the manufacturing industry are so common is because this industry often involves the use of heavy equipment and machinery, repetitive motions, harmful chemicals, and various other hazards. Following are some examples of common work related manufacturing accidents and injuries:
- Repetitive Motion Injuries – Repetitive motion injuries are caused, as you might imagine, by tasks that involve repetitive motion. These often occur on assembly lines and with machinery that requires the worker to move some part of the body in the same manner, over and over again. An example would be continuously pulling on a lever or repetitive twisting of your torso. This can lead to overworked muscles and tendons.
- Overexertion Injuries – Similar to repetitive motion injuries, overexertion injuries often occur when the worker in the process of ordinary work related tasks that ultimately overexert a part of the body. An example might be moving heavy objects from one place to another until you throw out your back.
- Slip and Fall Injuries – Slip and fall injuries typically occur when there are hazards in the walkways of the work environment. These hazards can include slippery, wet, or icy floors, spilled liquids or small objects, cluttered areas, or gaps in the flooring.
- Chemical Exposure Injuries – If you work in an environment that involves hazardous chemicals, then you are at risk of being exposed to those chemicals and harmed through inhalation, skin contact, eye contact, burns, cancer, asthma, and various diseases.
- Object Impact Injuries – An object impact injury occurs when you are struck by or in some way collide with an object. For example, a large stack of heavy boxes might fall and you might be struck by one of these objects.
- Machinery Accident Injuries – Another common type of injury that occurs in manufacturing environments is related to machinery accidents. A part of your body, such as your hand, arm, foot, etc. could become caught in a machine, or a machine might malfunction in a way that causes an injury. You could end up with crushed bones, amputation, or serious head injuries, depending on the nature of the accident.
What Causes Workplace Manufacturing Accidents?
The majority of workplace injuries, even in the manufacturing industry, are avoidable. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets forth guidelines and safety procedures in order to protect workers from such accidents. However, there are some injuries that may not be avoidable, such as repetitive motion injuries. Those that can be avoided are often caused by not getting enough breaks, not handling chemicals and hazardous items correctly, or violations of safety procedures. In some cases, poor maintenance of machinery may be to blame for certain injuries that occur.
Depending on the circumstances and the cause of your workplace accident and injury, the employer may be at fault, the manufacturer of the machine may be at fault, another employee may be at fault, or it may be you who is to blame. In most cases, you will be able to file a claim for workers’ compensation under North Carolina’s no-fault workers’ compensation system. In some cases, such as those that result from the negligence of a third party, you may also have a personal injury claim. Contacting a workers’ compensation attorney for a free consultation will help you to get started in the right direction when seeking compensation.
Are Workplace Manufacturing Accidents Avoidable?
It is possible to avoid the majority of workplace manufacturing accidents. Proper maintenance of machinery walkways, cautious handling of chemicals, adequate supervision, safety training, and protective equipment can all contribute to a safer work environment.
What Do You Do If You’ve Been Injured At Your Manufacturing Job?
Because North Carolina has a no-fault workers’ compensation system, you can file a claim for worker’s compensation even if it was your own negligence that caused the accident. There are exceptions, but these only apply in situations where there was egregious misconduct. For example, if you were intoxicated or intentionally engaging in seriously dangerous behavior, then you may not be eligible for benefits. However, in the vast majority of workplace manufacturing injury cases, you will be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits without having to prove that your employer was at fault for the accident. As long as your employer has workers’ compensation insurance and you follow the correct procedures to file your claim, there should be no trouble. Yet, you will generally not be able to file a lawsuit against your employer because you are covered and they are protected by workers’ compensation insurance.
To ensure your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits in North Carolina, you must notify your employer of the accident right away, seek prompt medical attention, and adhere to the statute of limitations. You should also contact a determined North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney like those at Ted A. Greve and Associates for a free consultation and guidance with your workers’ compensation claim.