Throughout North Carolina and across the country, millions of people earn a living in factories and other types of shops that use machines. Employers who oversee workers who are using or working near machines must be diligent in providing proper safety and equipment to maximize workplace safety. Numerous machinist injuries are common in the industry, although many injuries are later determined to have been preventable had negligence not been a factor.
If you work as an industrial machinist, you have one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Inspections are a top priority in keeping you and your coworkers safe. However, each worker must also adhere to accepted safety standards and company policies for avoiding machinist injuries in the workplace.
Most common machinist injuries place lives at risk
The following list includes some of the most common injuries in the industrial machine industry, which cause severe (and many times life-threatening) injuries to workers in North Carolina:
- Crushing injuries: If you use machinery with heavy weights, you’re at risk for potentially fatal injuries if a machine bucks or shifts and crushes you by falling on top of you or pinning you against a hard surface.
- Ingestion of toxins: The metal fabrication industry carries a high risk for toxic ingestion injuries, such as inhaling silica, molten metals or chemicals that have dispersed into the air.
- Amputations: If you work with a machine that has safety guards against barrier-related injuries like a cutting guillotine, you could suffer loss of a digit or limb if a safety guard fails, or if someone improperly installed it.
In addition to proper installation, proper training is of utmost importance to protect machinists from workplace injuries. Even momentary negligence, such as a coworker talking unnecessarily while a machine is operating, can have disastrous results.
PPE improves safety for industrial machinists
Personal protective equipment (PPE) helps industrial machinists stay safe on the job. It might be a job requirement for you to wear steel-toed boots, for example, or heavy-duty gloves, eye or face protection or breathing equipment. Your employer must make sure that all safety guards and PPE undergo regular inspections to reduce the chances of a workplace accident resulting in severe injuries to one or more workers.
In the industrial machine industry, it’s not enough to train new employees without providing additional safety updates on a regular basis. The company you work for should have a “safety first” mentality, which typically includes providing safety training and updates on a regular basis for all employees, not just new hires. If you’ve suffered from machinist injuries in a North Carolina workplace, guidance and support is available to you as you navigate the workers’ compensation system or are considering filing a third-party legal claim in civil court.