In the workplace, there are many risks that workers' face. Recently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics took a look at some of the top causes of accidents and injuries in 2011. Their data broke down the number of occupational injuries or fatalities by the event or accident that caused the death, and the information provided reveals some important information about how workers are being hurt.
Our Asheville workers' compensation attorneys want workers and employers to be aware of some of the greatest risks in the workplace. Unfortunately, in many cases, the risks come from workers being caught in equipment or being hit by objects or equipment at work. Avoiding these dangerous events should be a top priority to reduce the risk of serious workplace accidents.
The Dangers of Contact with Objects or Equipment
The Bureau of Labor Statistics 2011 data reveals that 708 workers died in 2011 as a result of coming into contact with either equipment or objects while they were working. Unfortunately, this means that a total of around 15 percent of all fatal workplace accidents in 2011 were a direct result of workers coming into contact with objects/equipment.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics also broke down exactly what type of objects or equipment caused the most harm to workers. According to their reports on 2011 injuries:
- 472 workers died when they were struck by either objects or equipment other than powered vehicles.
- 147 workers died when they were crushed by a machine/equipment.
- 119 workers died when they got caught in equipment or machinery that was running.
- 84 workers died after being caught in a collapsing structure and/or crushed by material or equipment.
- 24 workers died when they were hit by a flying object.
All of these different deaths left families without their loved ones and without the companionship, financial and emotional support that their loved ones could have provided. Unfortunately, in many cases, these workplace deaths could have been avoided with better safety policies and safer workplaces.
Avoiding the Risk of Death By Contact with Objects or Equipment
Those in every industry, but especially in industrial and construction fields, need to make a commitment to stay safe and to try to avoid the risks that machinery, equipment and objects present in the workplace. There are a few different steps that can be taken in order to try to minimize the risk of these types of fatal accidents occurring. Some tips include:
- Maintaining equipment and machinery so it is always in good working order.
- Providing proper training to anyone who will be using or coming into contact with equipment and machinery and ensuring that only trained and authorized people have access.
- Examining and testing equipment and machinery prior to using the tools for any job in order to ensure that there are no loose parts, malfunctioning parts or other dangers.
- Requiring that workers performing tasks involving machinery or equipment have appropriate clothing (that can't get caught in machines) and proper safety gear such as safety goggles or hard hats.
Compliance with all requirements set for equipment and machinery by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration will also help workers and employers to minimize the risk of an injury caused by a worker being caught or compressed by machinery, objects or equipment.