New Jersey Unsafe Equipment Attorneys
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Industrial accidents are the third leading cause of injury and death in the workplace and recent statistics have shown that mechanical equipment is involved in 80% of the fatalities. Construction workers that use heavy machinery are at an increased risk of injury, dismemberment, and death. Employers have a responsibility to maintain equipment in proper working order to provide a safe working condition for employees and limit injuries. If you have been injured by heavy machinery or equipment while on the job, you may be able to file a claim to recover damages caused by your accident.
Contact an experienced New Jersey construction accident lawyer at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. today at (609) 240-0040 for a free consultation.
Industrial machinery is comprised of moving parts that include rotating members, reciprocating arms, moving belts, meshing gears, cutting teeth and any parts that impact or shear. Although these hazardous mechanical motions and actions are present in nearly all machines, many workers have not been adequately protected from the dangers they present. Machinery that is not properly maintained poses an additional risk to employees and workers.
Equipment in the workplace may be unsafe for a variety of reasons for which employers, or in some cases, a third party may be held responsible:
- Workers are not properly trained on use of the equipment.
- Dangerous equipment is not properly labeled or restricted.
- Equipment is defective and therefore particularly dangerous.
- Equipment has not been properly maintained.
- Safety features in machinery have been intentionally disabled or overridden.
- Machinery and moving parts are unguarded, or guards have been removed.
- Electrical hazards are created by frayed cords, improper wiring, or missing ground pins.
- Labels or notices to warn workers of potential equipment hazards are inadequate or altogether missing.
Unsafe equipment causes injury to thousands of workers every year. Contact with any moving machine parts may be extremely hazardous to workers and can result in catastrophic injuries, including:
- Crushed limbs
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Blindness and eye injuries
When you are injured on the job, workers compensation benefits are usually provided to pay you the wages while you are hurt and out of work. While this is helpful, in many cases, the money received through workers compensation is not sufficient payment for losses and suffering.
If you are eligible for benefits, workers’ comp should cover your medical expenses and provide partial compensation for your lost wages while you are recovering from your injuries. If you are totally disabled temporarily (unable to work at all) for more than seven days, you should receive benefit payments for approximately 70% of your average earnings at the time the accident occurred for the duration of your recovery.
If your injuries result in permanent impairment, you may be eligible to receive permanent disability benefits in an amount that is based on your disability rating, which is assigned by your treating physician after you have reached maximum medical improvement. For total permanent disability, injured workers should receive 70% of their average earnings at the time of the injury for at least 450 weeks.
Workers compensation was established to protect workers who have been injured on the job, and it should be a simple matter to obtain full benefits after a work-related equipment accident. Sadly, employers and insurance companies work hard to protect their own bottom line, and it is not always easy to obtain the benefits you desperately need after a serious work-related injury.
If this happens to you and your claim is denied or the amount paid incorrect, the best thing to do is to speak with a New Jersey personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options under the law. This may involve filing an appeal for workers’ comp benefits or pursuing compensation in a court of law.
Workers’ compensation law may not necessarily provide immunity from liability for damages for employers when a worker is seriously injured or killed because of employer negligence. Under OSHA regulations, employers have a responsibility to maintain workplace equipment in safe working order. They are also required to post warnings as needed and provide employees with proper protective gear and equipment safeguards. Employers who are guilty of gross violations of OSHA and other safety regulations concerning equipment may be held liable for resulting worker injuries and fatalities.
In some cases, a third party other than the employer is responsible for the unsafe equipment. On a construction site, for example, various subcontractors and companies may be on the site using different types of machinery and equipment. In industrial accidents in which defective equipment causes serious injury or death, a third party may be held responsible for the damages, and compensation sought through legal channels.
Some instances of equipment related injuries may have been prevented if adequate safety measures were taken to maintain the equipment. In these cases, you may be able to file a claim against a negligent employer who did not provide a safe working condition. If you or a loved one has suffered from a serious heavy equipment accident in New Jersey, contact Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. today at (609) 240-0040 for a free consultation.
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- PEOSH Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Standard (29 CFR 1910.132 – 138)
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