Industrial Accidents and Workers’ Compensation

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Industrial accidents may seem like a problem from the industrial revolution that people only encounter in developing countries in modern times, but on average twelve people are killed on the job every day in America, and a person about every twenty seconds worldwide. Industrial accidents were defined in the Factories Act of 1948 as “…an occurrence in an industrial establishment causing bodily injury to a person who [sic] makes him unfit to resume his duties in the next 48 hours.” While working in America is much safer today than in 1948, this definition is still a valid one in many ways. Causes of industrial accidents generally fall into one of three categories.

Unsafe Conditions

Unsafe working conditions are the most common cause of industrial accidents.  These sorts of accidents are almost always caused by factors that the company employing the injured worker has the responsibility for, and include things like:

  • Defective tools and equipment;
  • Faulty plant layouts;
  • Poor lighting and ventilation;
  • Improper or inadequate safety devices; and
  • Fatigued or overworked employees.

Unsafe working conditions are very often the results of negligence on the part of a company’s management: failure to correct known hazards and inadequacies leads to employees getting injured on the job. By spending small amounts early, companies could prevent injuries and the resulting costly workers’ compensation claims later; unfortunately this is a gamble that many employers are not willing to take in the name of improved profits.

Unsafe Acts By Employees

The second most common, and easily preventable, cause of industrial accidents is unsafe acts on the parts of employees. Cutting corners in an employee’s job process can and often will lead to injuries, and not necessarily to the employee who is at fault.  Common acts that lead to injuries are things like:

  • Not utilizing protective equipment;
  • Working at unsafe speeds;
  • Removing or disabling safety devices and cut outs;
  • Horseplay at the work site: day-dreaming, arguing, teasing, etc…; and
  • Carelessness when handling materials and equipment.

The old adage “familiarity breeds contempt” stands true in many of these cases: as tasks become routine workers can often grow complacent and forget that their everyday tasks involve tools and equipment that can easily maim and kill, and when employees lose their caution people end up getting hurt.

Other Causes

Other causes of industrial accidents are fairly rare. These involve things that are almost always beyond anyone’s control, such as weather conditions, or unusual combinations of circumstances and events that cause hazards that could not easily have been predicted. While not easily predicted, and thus hard to mitigate, these sorts of events are also very rare, and the chances of being involved in such an event are luckily quite rare.

Contact a South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Industrial accidents can result in horrific and long lasting traumas to their victims, very often through no fault of their own. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an industrial accident, or suffered other work related injuries, the best thing you can do is act quickly to get an experienced workers’ compensation attorney on your side. Contact the offices of the Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm today to set up a no-cost consultation and see how we can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injury.

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