Drill Press Accidents
The Chicago drill press injury attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC assist injured workers with their worker's compensation claims and look for other avenues through which they can secure additional damages when their benefits are not nearly enough to cover the long term impact of their injuries.
One of the ways we can seek damages beyond a worker's compensation claim is to evaluate whether the industrial machinery being used at the time contributed to the employee's injuries through defect or design flaw. If so, the manufacturer can be held accountable via a product liability claim and be required to provide the compensation the victim needs to move forward with his or her life.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is committed to assisting people injured while working with heavy machinery. The personal injury attorneys and construction accident lawyers of our law firm handle all cases on a contingency fee basis meaning that we only receive a legal fee when we are successful in obtaining financial compensation for your workplace injuries.
How Drill Presses Work in Chicago and why They can be Dangerous
A drill press is designed to drill holes in objects, mostly for the purpose of woodworking. While it is possible to drill holes using handheld devices, a drill press is used when accuracy and speed are important, such as during mass production.
These tools can also be equipped with extensions and tools that will allow workers to use them for other purposes such as sanding and grinding, which offers added versatility and usefulness.
It is important that these tools come equipped with adequate safety guards and shutoff switches to protect workers. In addition to having a hand or arm get caught in the path of moving parts, articles of clothing can also get caught, which may pull the victim's hand or arm into the machine and cause severe injury.
The ways a drill press operator and other workers can protect themselves include the following.
- Making sure not to wear loose or long clothing that can become caught in the machine.
- Keeping long hair tied back so that it does not pose the risk of being caught in the machine. There have been numerous accidents caused by the sudden entanglement of the victim's hair, which were made worse when the equipment lacked a proper shutoff mechanism to turn the machine off at the first indication of trouble.
- Refraining from using gloves while operating the drill press. Like clothing and hair, a glove can become caught in the device and pull the victim's hand into the press, causing serious injury.
- Securing the material by clamping it down before using the drill press. Failure to do so can cause the material to spin or be propelled at the worker or bystanders.
- Inspecting the drill bit for chips and other defects prior to use.
Drill Press Defects can Increase Injury Severity in Illinois
Among the drill press defects we have seen are faulty safety guards and poorly designed shutoff switches. It is important that workers are able to shut the machine off quickly in the event of an injury and some presses have been found to have shutoff switches that do not work properly or are located in areas that are not accessed easily.
The failure of the safety guard to protect the worker's hands is another common design flaw and can easily result in the loss of fingers and hands.
The failure to provide workers with adequate warnings about the dangers and risks associated with a product can also be considered negligent. Many manufacturers do not provide adequate warnings or detailed information that can help workers avoid an accident or stop the machine quickly when an injury occurs. Our construction site accident lawyers can assist you after an incident like this and path a course to relief and recovery!
Drill Press Accident Frequently Asked Questions
Many construction workers and other personal injury victims in Illinois ask us questions about their drill press accident so we compiled a list of common concerns and answers.
What are the Safety Rules for a Drill Press?
When operating a drill press in, you should use a clamp or vise, properly ground the drill, take out any chips via brush, set the correct RPM rate, and fill the tool with enough cutting fluid.
What Does a 10-Inch Drill Press Mean?
A 10-inch drill press means that the length from the spindle center to the edge of the drill is 10 inches and the entire drill length is twice that, or 20 inches. The entire drill length is also called the drill swing and denotes how much material can handle at once.
Can You use Regular Drill Bits in a Drill Press?
You can use electric drill bits in a drill press but you should not use bits with unique or forceful twists because they could grab and twist as you drill.
What are Two Common Types of Drill Presses?
The two most common types of drill presses used in Chicago and across the United States are stationary, and bench top. The latter, the bench top model, is smaller and easier to move around because of its light weight. Stationary models are harder to move around but have more power and may be more useful for bigger drill jobs.
Should You Wear Gloves When Using a Drill Press?
You should not wear gloves will operating a drill in Illinois. You should also not wear a watch, ring, or anything on your wrist or hanging from your neck while drilling.
What can a Drill Press do?
Chicago construction workers primarily use drill presses for enlarging holes and drilling through workpiece materials but they could also be used for tapping, reaming, counterboring, and countersinking.
Sample Drill Press Accident Settlements & Verdicts
The plaintiff in this Illinois personal injury lawsuit was forty years old at the time of the construction accident. He worked in the construction industry around the Chicago land area. He was operating a drill press. The drill press was made by Dayton. At some point, one of the coil springs broke and cut into the middle finger on his left hand. He sustained an avulsion injury that caused him significant pain. To recoup financial compensation for the pain and expense of the events, he brought this action against the manufacturer and the company that employed him. All parties entered into the preliminary trial stage but the matter subsequently settled for a reported $64,000. A portion of those proceeds were paid by each of the defendants.
$16,721,015 Settlement; Cook County, Illinois; 1988.
The victim at the center of this firestorm was operating a drill press on a Chicagoland construction site. Out of the nowhere, a car came crashing through the gate and ran into him. He suffered catastrophic injuries. Some of the things he experienced from the accident included broken bones, paralysis, memory loss, and brain damage among other harms. He sued the owner of the vehicle, driver of the vehicle, and manufacturer of the drill press (there were certain drill malfunctions at the time). The matter went to trial and all the way to a jury. After a demand of $6 million and an offer of a little more than $1 million, a jury returned a verdict in excess of $16 million. This way sound like a lot but it represents the incredibly serious pain and harm that the man incurred from the accident.
$168,500 Settlement; New Jersey; 2019.
This incident involved a young female construction worker. She was working in the New Jersey area. Her employer had her work on a drill press but it did not go well. The drill press malfunctioned and took off a large part of her finger. The accident caused her a lot of pain as well as emotional distress and suffering. She brought a lawsuit against the manufacturer which was a foreign company for all of her economic and non-economic damages. The woman even hired an expert to prove that the drill press was defective when she used it and that it caused her injuries. After that and other pre-trial motions, the two sides privately negotiated an agreement to end the litigation for a reported $168,500.
$59,500 Settlement; Nebraska; 2018.
In this Nebraska claim, a man in his middle fifties brought suit against his boss after he was seriously injured in a drill press accident. When he was operating the machine at work, he hurt his back. The man claimed the injury arose due to work conditions and faulty instruction. The employer denied these charges and offered that he hurt his back some other way off work premises. However, the employee brought in a doctor that confirmed his side of the story. Once this was established, the employer was more willing to negotiate. The two sides settled the lawsuit for $59,500.
Let Our Chicago Drill Press Injury Lawyers Review Your Case for Free
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is committed to helping injured workers recover fair compensation for their injuries. When a worker's compensation claim is not sufficient to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and future medical expenses, we can explore other avenues of recovering damages so that you are able to continue providing for your family and meeting your obligations.
All too often, we find that defective industrial machines are linked to workplace injuries, and the law allows you to seek damages from the manufacturer and their insurance company when this is the case in the United States.
Contact us today to arrange a free consultation with one of our award-winning Chicago drill press injury attorneys so that we can evaluate your claim and review your legal options. If our construction worker injury attorneys are unable to secure compensation on your behalf for any reason at all, you can rest assured knowing that our services will be free of charge.
The product liability lawyers from our law offices have a record of success bringing injury cases and personal injury claims on behalf of family members and loved ones in Cook County, DuPage County, Rockford and across Illinois. We can help you too!