Manufacturing work environments continue to be some of the riskiest in terms of employee injuries. What makes these workplaces so hazardous? Manufacturing typically involves repetitive motions, which can lead to physical and mental stress. With so many hazards, it is no surprise that accidents occur in factories. Workers can be crushed, hit by falling objects, suffer injuries due to malfunctioning equipment, suffer at the hands of human error, use poorly maintained personal protective equipment (PPE), or fall victim to company vehicular crashes. In fact, work injuries are quite common, therefore injured workers are eligible to receive compensation through their Workers’ Compensation benefits.
Sprains and Strains
Humans do not respond well to repetitive motions and may feel discomfort in muscles, tendons, and joints. Overexertion in the shoulders, joints, back, and knees can become such a problem that workers may be unable to move without intense pain. Often, the remedy for repetitive strains and sprains is time and physical therapy. However, surgery may be required.
Manufacturing atmospheres can exceed acceptable decibel levels as set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Although workers should wear PPE that includes ear protection, a sudden explosion or crash could cause damage to the inner ear. Plus, employees who are given insufficient PPE may not realize that they are being exposed to excessively high noise levels.
Most hearing loss is irreversible, although hearing aids and devices can help return a worker’s hearing to near-normal or acceptable functioning. Still, total hearing loss can be a devastating experience for any employee and may be grounds for a third party lawsuit against the PPE manufacturer in the case of negligence.
Broken Bones and Spinal Cord Injuries
Slipping and falling can lead to broken wrists and herniated back discs. There are plenty of opportunities for workers to slip and fall in manufacturing workplaces, especially if the floors become wet or sticky, as is the case at food plants. Additionally, workers who need to operate at different elevations may risk breaking bones or suffering life-altering injuries.
Not all industrial worksites expose personnel, but some do. Therefore, chemical burns are a common injury seen among factory workers. These burns can cause permanent disfigurement, which may cause workers to be unable to return to work.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome affects the hands, making it difficult for workers to comfortably type or perform manual activities. Medical professionals will often suggest a variety of treatment, depending upon how extensive the problem is. More serious cases may require surgery and physical therapy.
Small cuts do not require more than a bandage. In fact, some workplace cuts are minor. Nonetheless, others can be major and even life-threatening. A massive laceration can take quite a bit of time to heal correctly and may require many surgeries, particularly if internal organs, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues were damaged. During the interim healing period, the worker should focus on getting treatment, which is why Workers’ Compensation is such a valuable resource.
Losing eyesight can happen in a flash. Anything from a launched object to a toxic gas can leave an employee with reduced sight or total vision loss. It is critical that any worker who has experienced vision loss seek medical attention immediately. Sometimes, vision problems can heal; other times, they may be permanent.
Dust, toxins, gases, pollutants, and even high humidity can cause workers to experience respiratory issues. Respiration concerns can include short-term asthmatic reactions to significant lung damage.
Asbestos-Related Medical Problems
From a long-term perspective, some workers may experience asbestos-related diagnoses, such as mesothelioma or asbestosis, after working around the material for many years. When it becomes airborne, asbestos can be inhaled or ingested. Asbestos fibers lodge in the lungs, esophagus, or stomach. Asbestos-related problems take a long time to develop. Any worker who has been diagnosed with asbestos-linked cancer should speak to a Workers’ Compensation lawyer immediately.
What can Injured Workers Do to Receive Compensation?
After experiencing a work injury, employees will want to pursue fair compensation. First, every injured worker should apply for Workers’ Compensation benefits, which pays for medical costs and covers a portion of the worker’s interrupted wages. Although Workers’ Compensation is available to all injured workers, insurance carriers may deny certain claims. At that point, injured employees may opt to work with a lawyer to appeal the denial.
Workers’ Compensation protects both the worker and the employee; a worker can receive benefits regardless of fault, and an employee is shielded from any potential liability. However, a personal injury lawsuit can be brought against a third party if negligence somehow caused the injury, such as an equipment manufacturer of a machine that malfunctioned and directly led to an injury. Third party lawsuits can help hurt workers recover out-of-pocket expenses and non-economic costs, such as pain and suffering.
Lawyers have the means and expertise to construct cases. Working with a lawyer is important for employees who decide to file a Workers’ Compensation claim, that way, the injured worker can concentrate on their recovery rather than fight the courts alone.
Mount Laurel Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC Help Injured Factory Workers Receive the Benefits They Deserve
If you were hurt in a workplace accident, contact a Mount Laurel Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC today. We will review your case and fight for the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call us at 856-751-7676 or contact us online. Located in Mount Laurel, Cherry Hill, Trenton, and Vineland, New Jersey, as well as Trevose, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.