Work accidents caused by faulty equipment can be serious and fatal
Work injuries caused by machinery are common, and it is not clear how often this type of work accident happens due to defective machinery or equipment failures.
Yet, this information is not always available or easy to find for injured employees and grieving families of fatal work accident victims. Knowing whether a worker was injured by defective machinery or a worker error can make a big difference in legal action and compensation. We believe this information should be recorded and freely accessible to employers and workers to reduce worker injuries and death.
The result of defective machinery accidents can be severe injuries such as broken bones, burns, electric shock, traumatic brain injury, or spinal cord injuries. They can also be fatal.
In California, most injured workers can collect workers' compensation benefits. The program provides compensation for work-related injury and illness medical treatment and a percentage of lost wages. However, if a worker is injured in an accident caused by defective equipment, they may have a strong case to file a third-party lawsuit against the manufacturer of a defective part for damages in addition to workers' comp.
Injured by defective work equipment or error?
Getting to the bottom of equipment failure is frequently complicated. Injured employees often use work injury lawyers to investigate what happened and determine whether they have a case.
The San Diego work injury attorneys at McLaughlin & Sanchez fight for injured workers' rights in Imperial County and throughout Southern California. We know what it takes to investigate equipment failures at work. We can get to the bottom of whether an injury is due to an error or a defect.
If you were injured by a piece of defective machinery, equipment malfunction, or another type of accident at work, contact us for a free case consultation. We can answer your work injury-related questions, estimate the value of your claim, and help weigh your options.
California worker deaths and machinery
Work accidents that involve machinery or other equipment have traditionally been the third leading cause of serious and deadly employee accidents in the U .S. Since 2017, California has recorded over a dozen fatal work accidents involving machinery.
While the U.S. tracks employee deaths related to work machinery and equipment, general data does not specify whether the involved apparatus was defective or malfunctioning. For example, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), recent California fatal work accidents involving machinery - which may or may not have been defective - includes workers who were:
- Electrocuted by lighting equipment.
- Caught in a spinach harvesting machine.
- Fell into a beet pulp spreader machine.
- Crushed by a printing machine.
- Struck by milling machine axis.
- Crushed inside mold machine.
- Entangled in sanding machine.
What causes work machine malfunctions and defects?
Faulty machinery and equipment failure can happen for many reasons, including manufacturing defects, installation errors, poor maintenance, and cheap materials.
An equipment failure may be sudden, intermittent, or gradual. It may be a part that fails to stay in place, open or close. It may short circuit, fail to start or stop, leak, or rupture. A malfunction or defect can also cause erratic, delayed, or slow production.
According to the study "Maximizing Machinery Uptime," some of the equipment parts that are most likely to breakdown, leak, snap, detach, or malfunction include the following:
- Elastomeric couplings.
- General-purpose gear sets.
- Magnetic clutches.
- Timing belts.
- Ball bearings.
- Mechanical seals.
- Reciprocating compression valves.
- Threaded fasteners' pins.
- Reciprocating compression cylinder liner casings.
- Elastomeric casings.
- Temperature and pressure sensors.
Experience matters when you're looking for a workers' comp lawyer
For over 30 years, McLaughlin & Sanchez has stood up for injured workers in San Diego and across Southern California. We understand what you're up against after a bad work accident or illness.
Our San Diego workers' compensation attorneys and work injury lawyers hold defective parts manufacturers accountable for the damage and pain they cause. However, if the defect was due to a vendor - for example, an outside contractor that performs machine maintenance or installation - we know how to get results from them, too.
If you were injured at work due to defective machinery or another type of incident, contact us for a free case consultation. At no cost to you, we can explain the value of your claim and estimate whether you should consider filing a third-party lawsuit. We have offices in San Diego, Temecula, and Chula Vista, but if you can't come to us. We can go to you.