Employees who work in a factory setting are usually well aware that the potential exists for injury, considering they may work with toxic materials, manage large machinery with many moving parts or be exposed to extreme heat or cold due to the items they are manufacturing. However, an employer is required under federal law to protect employees from harm and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is the arm of the federal government that enforces those laws.
Even when an employer believes they have done everything they can to protect an employee, accidents may still occur. These four mishaps could result in major costs to the company, whether through fines due to safety procedures not being followed, personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits or workers’ compensation claims.
1. Failure to Follow Safety Regulations
Despite the best intentions of companies to require employees to follow safety regulations, staff members may sometimes cut corners in an effort to meet deadlines or simply because the regulations are a nuisance to them. They may remove safety guards from machinery or ignore warnings about the operation of a machine. If an employee is injured or killed because safety regulations were not followed, a company may still be held liable for not enforcing the regulations. In addition, the employee may still file workers’ compensation claims even if their negligence caused the injury. It is imperative that manufacturers insist that safety regulations be followed at all times and punish those who ignore those regulations.
2. Lack of Fire Protection
Fire protection is required in all manufacturing industries and the majority of manufacturing firms provide the protection that is required. However, it is possible for errors to be made so that what was a working fire protection system fails or to forget an inspection date on a fire extinguisher. If a fire occurs in the factory during the time the fire protection system is inoperable or an employee cannot extinguish a fire because an extinguisher no longer works, injuries or deaths can occur. Be sure to also update all hydrants and water valves with the help of places like Terminal City Iron Works Ltd. Even if a company does not intend for anyone to get hurt, they may still face fines, workers’ compensation or lawsuits due to the accident.
3. Slips and Falls
Slip and fall accidents can occur in almost any industry, but can be especially dangerous in a factory setting. Because most factories contain large, dangerous machinery, if someone slips and falls, they could be injured severely if they fall against or into the machines. Slips and falls can occur at any time, even when the area is clear, but when there is water or other fluid on the ground are more likely to happen. In addition, obstructions in walkways or items placed where people could easily miss them could also lead someone to trip and fall.
4. Equipment Malfunction
Regular inspections are required of most factory machinery, but even when they are checked regularly, there can be malfunctions. When a machine malfunctions and causes injury or death, liability could fall on the shoulders of the company owner unless it is proven that the machine had a defect or problem the employer was unaware existed.
These four factory accidents can result in high costs for an employer due to fines, legal fees and workers’ compensation claims. Therefore, employers should take every precaution necessary to avoid any of these types of accidents and reduce their potential liability.