Heavy equipment is used in almost every industry imaginable. Heavy machinery does help to expedite the process of achieving daily tasks, but with that expedition comes a level of risk. There are lots of machines that can be considered heavy machinery, including but not limited to forklifts, backhoes, bulldozers, excavators, compactors, cherry pickers, lathes, presses, and pipe and tube benders. If you use any of these machines or any other machine included under the umbrella of heavy equipment, there is a chance an injury may occur.
Types of Heavy Machinery Injury
There are four types of heavy machinery injuries that are more common than others. There are dozens of possible injuries you may sustain while using heavy machinery, but these four are of greatest concern due to frequency and are worth looking out for.
Struck by Injuries
These types of injuries occur when someone is struck by a machine directly or indirectly. A direct strike would be someone being hit by the machine itself or a functioning and contiguous portion of the machine, such as the forks of a forklift or the bucket of a front-end loader. An example of an indirect strike would be something that a crane is moving, striking you or something that was broken by a machine that ended up impacting you.
These occur when someone falls from the machine itself or when they fall from a platform that is attached to the machine that they are operating. Falling injuries are statistically the most common type of heavy machinery injury. These machines’ cabs and platforms are often high off the ground, resulting in serious bodily injury in the event of a fall.
Caught Between/Crushing Injuries
These types of injuries are quite common in industrial production and storage areas, such as assembly lines and warehouses. These occur when a person finds themselves trapped between parts of a machine, or the machine itself, and a wall or other object. Crushing injuries can be devastating and often cause irreparable damage.
Electrocution can occur in many ways while operating heavy equipment, but the most common ways would be encountering a power line while being raised on a machine or being electrocuted by the machine itself. Electrocution can cause severe burns, heart-related health emergencies, and even death.
What To Do if Heavy Machinery Severely Injures You
These are not the only possibilities. Any time an injury occurs on or around heavy equipment, contact a heavy machinery injury attorney to see if you need their services. Heavy equipment injuries can be profoundly serious, life-changing, and in some circumstances, deadly.