All types of heavy machinery and equipment are dangerous. But it is not just the size of the machine that poses a risk to the workers.
The Main Reasons
Other key factors, such as inadequate training, poor implementation of safety protocols, lack of protective gear, and incorrect handling, are responsible for many machine-related injuries and fatalities.
Employers should put extra safety measures in place when very heavy machinery is in use. Here are the five most hazardous heavy machines and equipment that contribute to the largest number of worker deaths and injuries:
A crane is by far the most dangerous piece of heavy equipment used in different industries. According to a report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), cranes have remained the single most dangerous machinery for the last two decades.
Another report by the Center for Construction Research and Training found that between 1992 and 2006, as many as 632 construction fatalities involved the use of cranes.
Any time that heavy objects are being lifted in the air, everyone on the work site and even those driving or walking by should be concerned. Even if the objects being lifted are not that heavy, there should be a cause for concern since a falling object that weighs only five pounds can be deadly from 300 feet up, for instance.
The bulldozer is recognized as the strongest and the heaviest compared to other types of heavy equipment. It is also responsible for the largest number of fatalities related to construction machinery. One in five construction fatalities is estimated to be directly related to bulldozers.
Workers could get crushed by the bulldozer if it rolls over. They can also get trapped inside or beneath the machine and get crushed. Even co-workers who are present in the area could be run over by it if they get in front of the bulldozer’s wide flat blades.
The unintended or ill-timed movement of the body of a dump truck could cause serious injuries to a worker or a bystander. But dump trucks can also pose other hazards.
The dump truck needs to be lifted off its position for unloading with the help of hydraulic or air hoses. A mechanical or electrical fault could cause the dump truck to lose its raised position, and any workers who are in the way or working to fix the fault may get severely harmed.
A backhoe loader is not exactly a mammoth sized piece of machinery, but they are known for causing devastating injuries. The main reason for this is that a backhoe has a shovel in the front, plus a digging bucket behind. This makes it hazardous from both ends.
A worker could get run over by the machinery, get caught in its way, get hit by the bucket or the load it is carrying, pushed by the shovel, or trapped under the truck if it rolls over.
An excavator and a backhoe loader are quite similar because both of these machines use a digging bucket for heavy lifting, material handling, mining, and demolition purposes. Although an excavator does not have a shovel at the front, it is still as dangerous as a backhoe loader.
Workers could be seriously injured if they get hit by the digging bucket. The overhead utility lines could also break or malfunction if they are hit by the excavator which could electrocute a worker or someone walking by. On top of this, the hydraulics may also develop a problem, and cause the machine to tumble over.
Machine Accident Lawyers in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a machine accident lawyer in Sacramento. Heavy machinery can pose serious threats and injuries. If you or someone you know has been injured in a heavy machinery accident, call me for a free consultation at 916-584-9355.
I’ve helped many clients in Sacramento and throughout Northern California obtain full compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death cases since 1982.
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