Workplace Injuries: Assembly Line Accidents
Injuries happen everywhere: at home, on the roads, in grocery stores, and at work. While potential for accidents exists in every type of job, certain job types, such as assembly line work, have the highest rates of injury and death. Of the three million workplace injuries and illness and 4,679 fatalities in 2014, manual labor accounted for the highest rate of danger in any job type. Assembly line workers are exposed to loud, heavy machinery and dangerous objects such as razor sharp knives; and are under high pressure to move quickly and efficiently without making mistakes. These types of jobs include pressing metal, clothes manufacturing, steel forging, car assembly, grain milling, food production, and packaging, canning and processing meat. The injuries that assembly line workers suffer vary in severity from loss of fingers, deafness, chronic back pain or arthritis, loss of limbs, cancer, and even death.
Assembly workers are held to quotas that expose them to dangers, exhaustion, and overuse injuries. Unfortunately, large companies often have little regard for their employees safety or health when it comes to making deadlines and a profit. Below are some of the many types of injuries that assembly line workers are exposed to:
Repetitive Strain Injuries
Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs) are caused by doing the same movement over and over. If an employee has to stand in an awkward position for hours on end, or make the same motion hundreds or even thousands of times per day, every day for years, they may develop an RSI. An RSI can wear out the bones, ligaments, cartilage, nervous system, and/or muscles to the extent of a crippling condition. Vibrating machinery can even cause a repetitive strain injury. Carpal tunnel syndrome is another common injury caused by performing the same motion again and again.
Forklift and Transportation Accidents
Forklifts present a hazard in factories and places of manufacturing, especially when loud noises may obscure the presence of the forklift. Similarly, large trucks pose a threat when loading or unloading merchandise.
Toxic Chemicals and Cancer-Causing Substances
Assembly line workers may use or come in contact with toxic chemicals that cause burns to the skin, illness through inhalation, or, with enough exposure throughout the years, cancer. All employers have a duty to create a safe work environment for all their employees, and exposure to dangerous, toxic substances without providing the proper gear and training could lead to injury and cause for a lawsuit.
Machinery Poses a Threat, as Do Poorly Stacked Objects
A time may come when human labor is completely outdated in factories and assembly lines. However, that time is not now, and the presence of large machinery, such as the kind used in the manufacturing of cars, poses a lethal threat to those who work around it. Even if every precaution is taken and all the set guidelines are adhered to, serious accidents happen. If a piece of clothing gets stuck, the machinery malfunctions, or a worker trips at the wrong time and place, machinery can take life and limb. Poorly stacked goods, machinery, merchandise, tools, and other objects also present a falling hazard.
A fall from a height or the ground can cause catastrophic injury. Slippery floors, uneven surfaces, and rooms cluttered with machinery cause falls that can break hips, cause traumatic brain injuries, spinal damage, and torn ligaments.
If you are suffering from an injury that occurred at work on an assembly line or during any other type of employment, contact an experienced workplace or personal injury attorney at Gillette Law, P.A. at 888-366-5904. We serve clients in Brunswick, Georgia and Jacksonville, Florida.