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Worker’s Compensation

Workers and Employers Have Misconceptions About Machinery Safety

Chris Jun 26, 2017

Thousands of injuries could be prevented. Employees who operate and maintain workplace machinery are at high risk for injury or death. According to industry statistics, machinery accidents cause about 800 deaths a year and 18,000 injuries, ranging from lacerations and abrasions to amputations and crush injuries.

ClaimsJournal.com has highlighted three common myths about machines and safety rules that contribute to the ongoing dangers.

Debunking 3 common myths about workplace machinery

Of the 10 most common OSHA citations, lockout/tagout violations are No. 5 and inadequate or disabled machine guarding is No. 8. Claims Journal, an industry publication, illuminated three misconceptions that put workers in harm’s way:

Myth #1:  New machines must be safe because they meet the latest safety standards.

Not necessarily. Many machines are built outside of the United States. Buyers have a responsibility to ensure that machinery complies with OSHA regulations and state laws. Many newer machines do not pass inspection relating to sharp edges, electrical shock hazard, emergency turn-offs, and flying sparks and debris.

Myth #2: Older machines are not subject to OSHA rules if they were built before the rule.

Some machinery was grandfathered in until the late ’70s, but those exemptions have long ago expired. Since then, all workplace machines must meet minimum OSHA requirements. When the safety regs are updated every five years or so, machines must comply with the new standards.

Myth #3: OSHA safety regulations are just “guidelines”

OSHA regulations, such as 1910.212 General Requirements for Machines, are legal and binding. It is a violation of federal law to ignore these rules, such as removing safety guards or disabling or bypassing lockout/tagout controls.

If you see something that is unsafe, speak up. If your supervisor or employer is willfully ignoring safety regulations, contact your union rep or OSHA regulators. It may save your life or prevent a major injury. In the event of a machinery accident, you should contact an attorney. In addition to a workers’ compensation claim, you may have a third-party claim against the manufacturer of a dangerously designed machine.

About Author: Chris

Christopher-Schwartz-Attorney-Louisiana
Legal Support and Marketing Director

Schwartz Law Firm was founded by Christopher Schwartz in 1997. After obtaining his MBA and law degrees, Christopher Schwartz served as a Workers Compensation claims adjuster. This experience gave him a view of the system from the inside and inspired him to begin his own practice. Christopher Schwartz has successfully represented many injured employees in Longshore claims, Jones Act claims, and Personal Injury claims. He is a tough negotiator, whose track record includes multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. Chris has also authored a book titled “The Road to Justice”. In his book, Chris outlines how he and his colleagues fight for public safety and what role his clients can play in winning their own personal injury cases. Chris is a native of New Orleans and has practiced law in Louisiana for 14 years. As a result, he understands local laws and feels a special loyalty to local people. He takes every case personally. Chris is available to represent clients anywhere in Louisiana and Maritime clients anywhere in the Gulf South. But he is also qualified to represent Defense Base Act clients anywhere in the world outside the U.S. He also focuses on auto accidents, semi-trailer accidents, 18-wheeler accidents and slip & fall accidents.