According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are four types of accidents that account for most construction site fatalities: falls, struck-by objects, electrocutions, and caught in/between accidents. Caught in/between accidents can cause serious injuries including crushed limbs, degloving injuries, and amputations, and they also account for seven percent of construction worker fatalities. Workers who are injured on the job are typically covered under their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. In some cases, though, workers may be able to collect additional compensation through a third party liability claim.
What is Machine Entanglement?
Machine entanglement is one type of caught in/between accident that occurs when a worker is pulled into heavy machinery by their body parts, clothes, hair, or jewelry. Construction workers are at risk of being involved in this type of workplace accident, however, workers in factories, farms, and other workplaces that utilize moving machinery are also susceptible. Workers may be pulled into various moving parts of workplace machinery, including:
Crush points: A worker may become caught between two components that are moving towards each other, for example, a hydraulic cylinder.
Pinch points: A worker may become caught between one part of the machinery that is stationary and another part that is moving, like on a conveyor.
Wrap points: A worker may become caught in rotating components of machinery, such as lathes and augers.
Any machinery that has moving parts can be dangerous if it is not properly maintained or workers are not adequately trained on how to use it. OSHA has identified machinery that can cause amputation injuries if employers do not implement the appropriate safeguards. They are:
- Drill presses
- Food slicers
- Grinding machines
- Meat cutting band saws
- Meat grinders
- Mechanical power presses
- Milling machines
- Power press brakes
- Printing presses
- Roll-forming and roll-bending machines
- Shearing machines
Employers’ Duty to Protect Employees
Employers must provide safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA has implemented specific regulations designed to protect employees from machine entanglement and other machinery hazards. Some safety measures that employers should have in place include:
Training: Workers should be trained on the proper way to use machinery and how to safeguard against accidents.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) and proper dress code: Workers should be given the appropriate PPE and dress codes prohibiting loose clothing, jewelry, and other items that may become entangled.
Inspection and maintenance: All machinery should be regularly inspected and maintained so that any safety issues can be addressed.
Lockout/tagout procedures: When performing inspections and maintenance on machinery, employers should have lockout-tagout procedures in place to protect employees from accidental injury.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Represent Workers Injured in Machine Entanglement Accidents
If you were injured in a workplace machine entanglement accident, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, including compensation for medical bills, temporary or permanent disability, vocational rehabilitation, lost wages, and death benefits. Contact a Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. to discuss your case. Our skilled attorneys represent clients in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County. To arrange a free consultation, call us at 888-PITT-LAW or complete our online contact form.
Our team also provides skilled representation to those residing in and around Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.