Punch Press Accidents
Punch Press Accident Attorneys
Punch presses are machines that mold metal using extreme amounts of force and are typically used to manufacture large machine and vehicle components.
The power that they exert on metal to form it into its desired shape makes them capable of severely injuring the workers who must place and remove the metal components into the presses.
The Chicago punch press injury attorneys and construction accident lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC help punch press workers with serious injuries recover the compensation they need to support themselves and meet their financial obligations.
Contact our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our law office remains confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
The Very Serious Nature of Chicago Punch Press Accidents
According to OSHA, just about one in every two punch press accidents leads to the amputation of the victim's limb. When a hand is caught inside such a powerful device designed to crush and bend metal into form, it will undoubtedly crush bone and cause permanent disfigurement of the affected limb.
For this reason, it is crucial to conduct an investigation whenever an employee is injured to determine whether every possible action was taken to prevent the accident from occurring.
The common causes of these incidents include:
- Failure to properly train employees so that they can use the machine safely and recognize the risks and dangers involved in their work
- Failure to properly supervise sheet metal and construction workers to make sure they are working in an efficient yet safe manner
- Inadequate machine inspection and maintenance practices - The corners companies take to save money today can forever impact the lives of injured workers tomorrow.
- Defective machine components. Punch press malfunctions could cause injury to the operator. The manufacturer of the defective part and employer could be held liable for damages.
Determining who was at fault is essential when exploring your legal options to ensure you can recover all the compensation the law allows. Even if you were at fault for your accident, you are still guaranteed worker's compensation benefits and may be able to seek additional money if you were not given adequate training or proper machine guards.
Any punch press malfunctions, defective punch presses, broken foot pedals, or inadequate maintenance, a failure to properly inspect the equipment or follow Occupational Safety Administration guidelines could compromise safety procedures and lead to a workplace accident with severe bodily injuries including:
- Arm amputations
- Hand amputations
- Severe lacerations
- Facial injuries
Malfunctioning hydraulic presses using about 10 tons to 50,000 tons or more for hole punching, bending, or shaping could cause catastrophic workplace injuries. Additionally, any design defect, exposed electronic switches, loose clothing, long hair, or mishap could lead to severe punch press injuries requiring hospitalization.
Punch Press Malfunctions and Safety Mishaps
Accidents are typically the result of inadequately trained operators working on extremely dangerous punch presses. With adequate knowledge and understanding of hand and foot pedals, buttons, or electronic switches, the operator can quickly recognize a defective part or missing machine guard to avoid a workplace accident.
- Finger amputation, April 2019 - OSHA reported a worker bending an aluminum piece amputated his pinky finger when his right hand was caught in the punch press at 1:30 PM. Amputation occurred during the hazardous process when the aluminum was being punched against the die under tons of pressure. The EMT transferred the injured worker to the hospital.
- Left-hand index finger amputation, February 2019 - A 59-year-old male sheet metal worker suffered a non-hospitalized injury when stamping metal pieces in a punch press. When operating the punch press safely, he began talking to a coworker while resting his hand near the punch press station die. The man inadvertently stepped on the foot pedal, activating the punch press that dissented and pressed his index finger, leading to amputation.
- Finger crushing accident, February 2019 - A long-term custom signs employee operating a Roussele punch press under about ten tons pressure to create holes in a bracket failed to inspect entirely or adequately set up the press opening before engaging the foot pedal and caught the first and middle fingers of the left hand in the metal bracket, crushing both fingers. Inspectors found that the punch press was missing an operation guard, a required piece of equipment that could have prevented severe injury when the accident happened.
- Finger amputation, February 2019 - An OSHA reported a 51-year-old male worker operating the company punch press bypassed the guard, catching his left-hand index finger against the die, leading to an amputation.
- Finger amputation, February 2019 - A 41-year-old male hydraulic punch machine operator removed the machine guard before locking the equipment. However, the employee stepped on the foot pedal while placing his left hand in the machine, actuating the equipment, and amputating his finger. EMT transfer the employee to the hospital.
- Index finger amputation, December 2018 - A 19-year-old female punch hole machine operator cleared some debris away from the equipment while placing her left hand's Index finger in a hole. At the same time, a maintenance technician manually cycled the machine, catching the victim's finger in the equipment leading to an amputation. EMT transferred the employee to the hospital.
- Left-hand finger amputation, December 2018 - A 37-year-old male GEKA punch press operator positioned a piece of angle iron to create holes using a punch press when an accident occurred. The fabricating machine worker was treated at the hospital and released.
- Multiple-finger injuries and amputation, November 2018 - A 65-year-old male punch press operator holding a piece of metal amputated a middle finger on one hand while simultaneously crushing the other hand's middle finger when his hands became caught in the press.
- Multiple finger fractures, November 2018 - A 55-year-old female punch press line operator caught her fingers and hand in the equipment while replacing a coil when crouching down, crushing for fingers between two powered rollers.
- Finger fracture, September 2018 - A 46-year-old male punch press employee creating holes using a one-inch die fractured his left index finger when his hand was stuck between the table surface and striker. EMT transferred the employee to the hospital.
- Finger fractures and lacerations, October 2018 - A punch press malfunction led to a 24-year-old male punch press operator amputating his right index finger and fracturing his middle finger while removing flashing. The accident resulted in hospitalization for his injuries.
- Partial middle finger amputation, July 2018 - OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) reported that a 43-year-old female punch press operator caught her left hand in the punch press while activated, resulting in partial amputation of her left middle finger. Reports indicate that it was a non-hospitalized injury.
All punch presses are dangerous and could lead to severe injuries, especially when the employee fails to follow OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) guidelines. Employers must ensure that every employee receives adequate training on safely operating punch presses, including adequately using foot and hand pedals.
What Forms of Compensation are You Entitled to Following a Workplace Injury in Illinois?
Many people seek legal advice after a punch press accident because they are unaware of their rights and don't know how to pursue their claim. Sometimes, employers' insurance companies will use trickery and deceit to get victims to forfeit their legal rights.
The compensation that you are guaranteed includes the following.
- The cost of your medical treatment, regardless of whether you see your doctors or your employer's preferred specialists
- Payment for your financial loss, medical expenses, hospitalization costs, pain-and-suffering
- Two-thirds of your average salary for as long as you are unable to return to work
- Additional benefits are available for anyone who is physically disabled due to a permanent injury such as an amputation or disfigurement
- The wrongful death benefit is paid should the worker die due to the severity of their serious injuries. The money ensures the worker's family can cover the cost of their loved one's memorial service and the value of their financial contributions to the family.
Many accidents Involving punch presses occur through the negligence of a worker, supervisor, or employer. Nearly every personal injury case involving a workplace injury qualifies for workers' compensation benefits, where the employer's insurance company pays for all expenses associated with the worker's injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions about Punch Press Accidents
Our law offices understand that many injured victims have unanswered questions about punch presses, workplace safety, and obtaining legal representation to hold employers accountable for catastrophic injuries. An experienced attorney answered some of the most frequently asked questions below.
For more information from our attorneys, contact us today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free consultation.
What Does a Punch Press do?
Construction and factory workers use punch presses to alter the shape or size of objects using a die. The equipment, costing tens of thousands of dollars, might punch press sheet metal or other materials, and the type and set up of the die determines how the metal is punched.
What are the Types of Die?
The most frequently used dies in press machines in Illinois include perforating dies, trimming dies, blanking dies, notching dies, bending dies, squeezing, and drawing dies. Using the right equipment and dies helps eliminate manufacturing errors and reduces workplace injuries.
How Does a Punch Machine Work?
A punch press machine works by pushing material through a hole. The press and die use hydraulics under tremendous pressure to pass each other, cutting the material as it passes through the die. It works much like a paper hole punch.
Punch press machines typically operate using foot pedals, hand pedals, and machine guards to handle highly complicated bending and pressing jobs. Companies must train employees to properly inspect the equipment before use to avoid punch press malfunctions that could produce catastrophic results.
What is an OBI Press?
OBI punch presses are a type of mechanical push press and are one of the most commonly used push presses in the Chicago construction industry. OBI presses typically have one crank with a gap frame and either a gear or flywheel system.
Do Defective Punch Presses Create Liability Issues?
Any malfunctioning component on a punch press not only creates malfunctioning errors but could identify a design defect that creates the equipment's manufacturer's culpability In any accident resulting in injuries or death.
Any employer who knew of the manufacturing defect but insisted on using the equipment could create a company liability problem over and above worker's compensation paid to the injured employee.
Learn More About Your Legal Rights During a Free Case Evaluation With a Chicago Personal Injury Attorney
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is a leading advocate for workers who have been injured while on the job and have recovered compensation on behalf of thousands of clients. If you have been injured in a punch press accident, we can help you secure the damages you need to meet your financial obligations now and in the future.
Contact us today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) to arrange your free consultation with one of our award-winning Chicago punch press accident attorneys.
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