Conveyer belts have become integral facets of the manufacturing process and most assembly lines could not function without them. Failure to maintain, operate and work around conveyor belts can result in severe injuries, however, and many workers lack the safety training and knowledge to be fully cognizant of the dangers and risks involved with performing duties involving their use. When the failure of an employer to provide a safe working environment or the willful disregard toward mandated safety standards results in bodily harm, the employer may be required to provide compensation in addition to the worker’s compensation benefit that is guaranteed to all workers.
Causes of Conveyor Belt Injuries
Determining fault is instrumental in building any personal injury lawsuit and understanding the common causes of conveyor belt injuries will help you determine whether you may have a case. Following are some of the scenarios in which negligent actions or policies may result in the injury of those working with or around conveyor belts.
- The belt is not assembled properly— the failure to follow instructions when assembling any heavy machinery can place workers at risk of bodily harm and it is important that conveyor belts are assembled according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
- The belt is partially or completed unguarded— guard rails placed in locations where workers may accidentally place hands, fingers or feet into potential pinch points reduce the risk of injury and an employer can be held liable for a lack of such devices where their use can be proven to prevent injury.
- The conveyor speed is hazardous— conveyor belts can cause crushing injuries if hands, feet or limbs are caught between the objects moving along them or between an object and the belt itself. Expecting workers to conduct their duties with belts that are moving at excessive speeds can be considered negligence.
- Defective conveyor belt equipment or design— if a manufactural defect or poor design is determined to create a hazardous work environment, workers who are injured in accidents involving the defective equipment may be entitled to receive compensation from the manufacturer.
- Lack of safety training— many employers simply train their workers on how to perform their pertinent duties without providing education on the hazards associated with the machinery in use. The failure to disclose the risks of working with dangerous equipment or to educate employees on safe and proper conduct when working on or near such equipment is a detriment to employee safety. The employer is liable for any injuries that result from inadequate safety training.
- Items falling from conveyor belts— overloaded conveyor belts may fill up with items and some of the items may fall. The location of the belt or the weight of the object can both be contributing factors in an injury and its severity. Items falling from a belt moving overhead can cause trauma to the head or spine and heavy objects falling to the floor can crush toes, feet or ankles.
The Benefits of Legal Counsel
Even if you are unsure of whether you have a case following an injury at work, it is important to know what benefits you are entitled to in order to protect your interests and maximize your claim. A capable attorney will investigate details that you may otherwise think irrelevant and discover evidence or negligence or product liability, allowing you an avenue to recover the compensation you need to pay medical bills and replace the wages you’ve lost during your physical recovery. The Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have an established track record of successfully representing the interests of clients harmed on the job and ensuring that they receive the treatment and compensation that they rightfully deserve.
If you’ve been injured on the job, contact us to arrange a free consultation to learn about your rights as an employee and so that we can evaluate your case fairly and weigh your legal options with you. Should we be unable to assist you or secure damages on your behalf, our services will be without any cost or obligation to you at all.