Workers build parts or structures by cutting, bending and then assembling parts in St. Louis metal fabrication shops. These are hazardous workplaces where risk of worker injury or death is high. Workers use heavy equipment, toxic substances and various power tools. If the employers fail to take necessary safety precautions, and workers are forced to assemble products in a dangerous environment, workers can suffer injuries. In this post, St. Louis workplace injury lawyer will discuss the various factors that can lead to fabrication shop accidents.
Common causes of St. Louis fabrication shop injuries
Metal fabrication shop workers have to work with or around welding machines, sanders, belt grinders, band saws, drill presses, and forklifts. This puts them at a high risk of suffering injuries and even fatalities.
Some of the most common causes of fabrication shop accidents include:
Machine guarding problems: It is important that the employers limit access to areas where dangerous equipment is being used with proper barriers such as guardrails, so that only trained workers can access them. Also, all power tools and heavy machinery must have proper safety guards that protect workers from unsafe machine parts. Preventable accidents occur when improper modifications are made to safety guards or tools, or untrained workers are allowed to remove them.
Lack of training: It’s important that workers are trained in the proper use of tools and the safety rules involving equipment and toxic materials. Unfortunately, many employers do not make safety training a priority.
Electrical issues: There are several electrical issues such as guarding, extension cords, improper guarding, and wiring problems that can cause workers to be exposed to low currents of electricity or be electrocuted. Those who use electric tools or equipment, or those to handle electrical issues, are at high risk of injuries.
Toxic substances: Failure of employers to implement safety procedures for the handling of hazardous and toxic substances such as asbestos, lead, radiation and arsenic can expose workers to these substances on a daily basis. This exposure can lead to occupational illnesses such as serious respiratory illnesses and cancers.
Lack of protective equipment: Failure of the employers to provide proper and adequate personal protective equipment can cause injuries or expose workers to harmful substances. Workers should be provided respirators, face and eye protection, and head and foot protective equipment.
Material handling: Workers in the metal fabrication shops must load, store, and unload chemicals and heavy materials on a daily basis. Failure to use proper lifting methods can lead to injuries. Workers can also suffer repetitive stress injuries.
Burns: Workers have to work with chemicals, toxic gases and molten metals. This exposes them to fires and possible burns.
Common Injuries Metal Fabrication Shop Workers Could Suffer
- Repetitive stress or motion injuries
- Spinal disc injuries
- Cuts and more serious lacerations
- Amputation, especially of hands and fingers
- Vision loss
- Hearing loss
- Cancer and other occupational illnesses
- Serious respiratory illnesses
- Fractures and broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
Injured while working in a metal fabrication shop? You may be entitled to workers compensation benefits. Contact a St. Louis work related injury lawyer to know your rights.