MACHINE ENTANGLEMENT INJURIES
Workplace injuries are the most common type of injuries suffered all over the globe. Lack of precautions results in various forms of injuries at work, especially injuries caused by machine entanglement. It is essential for employers to determine ways to create a safe working environment for their employees, especially for workers handling machinery. It is essential to pursue compensation for workplace injury if you have been a victim of machine entanglement or other form of injuries.
This type of workplace injury is caused in factories with heavy machinery and equipments. Hair, fingers, shoes and clothing can get caught in machines if proper precaution isn’t taken. Did you know that every year 2.78 million deaths are caused due to work-related injuries and accidents? Moreover, 374 million non-fatal injuries are also reported every year. It is crucial to pay more attention to protective gear and safety precautions in order to avoid these unfortunate and devastating accidents.
Common Causes of Machine Entanglement Injuries
Heavy machines and equipment, especially the rotating ones, which are common in agricultural territories, construction sites, and other factories, are the cause of injuries caused by machine entanglement. Unfortunately, majority of the employers and employees fail to realize the potential hazards of those machines and neglect taking the right precautions.
It merely takes a few seconds to become entangled in a machine and often workers don’t have time to react or fully grasp that someone has became entangled. Within a few minutes, the injuries and damage could become severe or even fatal.
The common causes and places of entanglement include:
- Cutting points or shear points where the moving parts have sharp edges
- Pull-in points, which are common in various machines like lathes, grinders, and crop harvesters
- Wrap points, which includes attachments to different pulleys, spinning motors shafts, and auger gears
- Pinch points, which are in various machine parts including pulleys, gears, machines’ sliding doors, motors including auger motors, and elevator leg drives
As per the type of machine, workers can experience various injuries that can be severe or even be fatal.
Examples of Machine Entanglement Injuries
There are striking statistics of entanglement injuries. However, the best way of understanding injuries caused by machine entanglement is through examples. Here are some:
- A worker died after getting entangled at the waist level in a grain auger when he was trying to crawl over the equipment.
- A worker was trying to remove excess glue from a conveyor component when his gloved hand was caught in the conveyor roller. He sustained amputation of two fingers.
There are never-ending reports of entanglement and injuries sustained by workers, unfortunately. Therefore, it is important for employers to take proper actions and precautions to reduce such injuries and fatalities.
Creating a Safe Working Environment
It is important to maintain a safe working environment when heavy machines and equipment are involved. There must be enough room for workers to safely use the equipment, as well as proper lighting to prevent potential entanglement. Safety gear should be compulsory for all workers.
Here are some of the ways employers can create a safe working environment:
It is the duty of employers to take steps for preventing injuries at workplace. There are various ways that these injuries can be prevented.
Risk Assessments – Firstly, before a machinery or equipment is installed or used, a risk assessment should be performed. The main aim of this risk assessment is identification of hazards or injury risk, which might arise while that machine or equipment is being used. This assessment must include identification of ways in which those risks and hazards can be reduced or eliminated.
Eliminating the Hazard – The effective way of doing this is arranging a work system so that there is no need to use hazardous or dangerous equipment. However, if this isn’t possible then the right measures should be taken to reduce the risks.
Adapting Safe Working Practices and Procedures
All the safety practices and procedures should be as per the type of equipment being utilized and the nature of work. Some effective safety procedures and practices could be as follows:
- The recommendation and instructions of the manufacturers must be strictly followed
- Equipment or machinery should be utilized within the work’s safe system
- All the hazardous or dangerous machines or equipment should only be used under supervision to ensure safety procedures and instructions are being followed
- The consumption of drugs and alcohol must be strictly banned for workers who operate heavy machinery
- Machines shouldn’t be used without training or passing the training protocol
- All workers must be warned against the tampering of safety devices or machine guards
- The workplace, especially around the equipment and machines, must be tidy and clean to prevent slipping and entanglement accidents
- Workers should be instructed to immediately report any defects, faults, or unusual noises coming from the machine
Aside from these practices, the workers operating, using and working near the machines must be instructed to:
- Never wear loose clothing and opt for fitted clothes
- Never wear jewelry near the machine or equipment
- Always tie the hair up if it is long
- Always switch off the machine or equipment before cleaning or maintenance
- Never step over, crawl under or jump over any moving parts of any machine or equipment
These precautions are essential in order to prevent machine entanglement injuries.
Using Protective Clothing and Gear
Protective gear is of utmost importance when working with hazardous or dangerous machine or equipment. No matter what type of heavy machine it is, all workers must be required to wear protective clothing and gear, including:
- Safety footwear
- Ear protectors
- Safety goggles
- Safety helmets
The safety clothing and gear should be as per the type of machinery being used by the worker. All workers should be properly instructed and provided the guidelines of using every machine carefully and safely. They should also be aware about the possible risks and hazards that could be caused due to machine entanglement so that they use the machines mindfully.
Inspection and Maintenance of Machinery
It is important for employers to have all the machines and equipment regularly inspected and maintained to ensure its proper working. Moreover, the machines should be regularly cleaned to avoid any damage and to ensure they are in good working conditions.
Pursuing Compensation for Machine Entanglement Injury
If your employer has failed to take adequate safety measures or to provide the right safety gear and protocols which resulted in you or someone you know sustaining injuries from machine entanglement, then it is important to get legal help. Shiner Law Group offers free evaluation of your case to determine the damages you might be able to recover. Get in touch now to ensure you get the proper compensation for your employer’s negligence.