Industrial Equipment Defect Cases
Modern industrial equipment has enhanced efficiency and increased the safety of workers in many ways. Enormous and complex machinery like crane systems, forklifts, and personnel lifts are used widely across many industries. Specific manufacturing equipment, agricultural machinery, and excavation tools have revolutionized commercial production, large-scale farming, and mining operations.
But industrial equipment has its dangers. Many kinds of machines and equipment can be hazardous to the workers who operate them or work nearby, even when they operate perfectly and are used exactly as intended. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4,764 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2020. Nearly half involved transportation and material moving occupations and construction and extraction occupations. These industries also accounted for a significant share of the year’s 2.7 million non-fatal workplace injuries.
In a real-world workplace, industrial equipment and devices are often used in ways that can increase risks to workers and the public. Failing to inspect or properly maintain machinery and equipment, taking safety shortcuts, and improperly training or supervising users cause tragic workplace accidents. However, the equipment itself frequently contributes to the occurrence or severity of workplace injuries by either directly causing harm or failing to engage systems that prevent injury.
Workplace Injuries Caused by Faulty Industrial Equipment
Worker’s compensation is the only avenue of recovery available to an injured worker in many situations. An injured worker can recover their medical expenses and lost wages under their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy, but they cannot sue their employer for additional damages.
Sometimes, however, a worker’s injury is caused by an equipment failure or machinery malfunction. In some cases, defects in the tool or device can make it unreasonably dangerous. Poor design can cause a defect or malfunction; in other cases, a component may be manufactured using faulty materials or in a way that cuts corners and results in an unsafe finished product.
Federal and state safety requirements mandate that designers, manufacturers, and retailers of industrial equipment take reasonable measures to test and ensure the safety of the products and parts they sell. Failure to do so is negligence. The law also holds them strictly liable for producing an “unreasonably dangerous” product. An unreasonably dangerous product is characterized by having risks that an ordinary user would not reasonably expect when using the product as intended.
Recovering Damages in Industrial Equipment Lawsuits
Although injured employees generally cannot recover from their employers directly beyond filing a workers’ compensation claim, they may pursue legal action against other parties that contributed to causing their damages. In cases where a defective or unreasonably dangerous piece of industrial equipment caused an accident, an injured party may be able to file a lawsuit against the designer, manufacturer, or retailer.
Workers are injured every day by industrial equipment that was negligently designed, defective, or malfunctioned. If you have been hurt on the job, our experienced team of attorneys can help. We will do what it takes to uncover the truth, recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries, and protect other workers from avoidable accidents. Contact T the Cooper Firm today for a free consultation.