Industrial labor positions are some of the most hazardous jobs, and workplace accidents are frequently fatal. An industrial accident can change your life in the blink of an eye. Thousands of workers are injured or killed annually due to unsafe working conditions. Furthermore, industrial accidents result in numerous injuries of varying severity.
Accidents are never planned or scheduled, but most people can help prevent them by wearing safety equipment and paying attention to their surroundings. Infrastructure failures, dangerous procedures, and human mistakes or negligence have the potential to create hazards in industrial settings, potentially leading to personal injury and wrongful death claims.
What are Industrial Accidents?
An industrial accident can involve dangerous chemicals that can potentially have adverse effects on the local community and environment. Types of industrial accidents can include a fire, an explosion, or the release of radioactive or hazardous substances, depending on the type of products involved. An industrial accident also often injures or kills someone on the job.
Most industrial accidents are the result of negligence, which means they are largely avoidable. The risk of serious injury and death in an industrial accident is dramatically reduced by maintaining a safe work environment, ensuring adequate training and supervision, and with proper equipment maintenance.
Common Causes of Industrial Accidents
Industrial accidents are frequently preventable, but the proper safety protocols must be drafted, taught, supervised, and used to keep workers safe on the job. Industrial accidents can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from improper lighting to the improper handling of materials. Industrial accidents can be caused by environmental factors, as well as mechanical factors.
Common environmental factors that can cause an industrial accident include:
- Improper temperatures
- Inadequate lighting
- Pollution from chemicals
- Sound irritation
Mechanical causes of industrial accidents refer to machine and equipment failures and include:
- Broken machines
- Damaged machines
- Excessive wear and tear
- Power failures
Outside of environmental and mechanical causes, human error and negligence can also cause industrial accidents in the workplace. Common examples of individual workplace negligence include failure to inspect and maintain heavy machinery, fatigue, inadequate training, and operating heavy machinery like a forklift under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Injuries Resulting from Industrial Accidents
Exposure to hazardous substances or environments was the leading cause of work-related injuries and illnesses requiring time away from work in the most recently reported year, according to recent data. Overexertion and bodily reaction, as well as slips, trips, and falls, are the next two most common causes of injury and illness resulting in days away from work. These causes of workplace accidents account for more than 75 percent of all nonfatal injuries and illnesses that result in missed workdays.
The top cause of industrial accidents is exposure to hazardous substances. The resulting injuries include:
- Electricity exposure/electrocution
- Radiation and noise injuries
- Burns and irritation from extreme temperatures
- Pressure or crush damage from high speeds of air or water
- Oxygen deficiencies
These accidents can cause more serious injuries than a person might initially realize. There could be long-lasting lung and organ failure due to hazardous substance exposure. For this reason, it is always important to wear proper ventilating masks.
Next, repetitive motion injuries and non-impact injuries are also common in industrial environments. These types of injuries are seen through stress, strains, back and leg injuries, and wrist and shoulder injuries. These injuries get worse and worse over time and, in most instances, will require surgery.
Working in industrial environments is not easy and comes with high risks. In these environments, there is always a potential for injury, which is why training and safety precautions should be everyone’s top priority.
Industrial Accident Statistics
Every year, there are approximately 340 million occupational accidents and 160 million victims of work-related illnesses worldwide, according to OSHA and the Department of Labor. Transportation incidents were responsible for 40 percent of all occupational fatalities in the most recently reported year. According to OSHA statistics, the construction industry accounts for approximately 20 percent of worker fatalities in the private sector.
Filing An Industrial Accident Lawsuit
If you or someone you care about was injured on the job, you should speak with an experienced Pittsburgh work injury lawyers about your situation. When an injury occurs at work, there are often multiple potentially at fault parties. For example, many times the equipment at sites and used by companies is owned by a third party, which means that entity may be responsible for an accident if the machines have a defect or other problem that causes an injury. Your lawyer can file a lawsuit against the individuals and/or entities responsible for your industrial accident injuries.
Filing a lawsuit requires the plaintiff to show why the defendant is responsible for their injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney can help file a lawsuit against the responsible party or parties. Contact us today for a free consultation.