The manufacturing industry poses innumerable hazards for workers.
From heavy machinery, exposure to sparks, toxic chemicals, repetitive motions, and intense heat, there are many hazards in manufacturing workplaces that cause injury to workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2011, the manufacturing industry accounted for over 30 percent of all occupational illness cases, which is one of the highest injury rates across all industries in the U.S. During the same period, 129,000 workers in the manufacturing sector suffered non-fatal injuries and another 4,600 were killed due to workplace injuries.
Injuries Sustained by Manufacturing Workers
- Eye injuries – Almost 52 percent of all eye injuries reported originate from either the manufacturing or retail industries. Common eye injuries include scratches, abrasions, and foreign bodies including chips and splinters.
- Crushing injuries – In the manufacturing industry, crushing injuries are quite common because body parts can get crushed by tools or in heavy machinery. Finger and hand injuries are the most common.
- Back injuries – Lifting and carrying heavy objects, slip and falls, and falling off scaffolding or a ladder are causes of back injuries.
- Head injuries – Multi-level manufacturing sites present the risk of falling debris from heights, which can strike the head and cause serious injuries including bruising, concussion, and laceration. Falls are also a common cause of head injuries.
- Repetitive stress injuries – Continuous repetitive movements can cause the muscles, tendons, joints, and nerves to become overused. These injuries can affect any part of the musculoskeletal system including fingers, hands, neck, feet, elbows, and knees.
- Amputation – This is the most serious type of all injuries and will leave a worker disabled for life. Heavy machinery can cause amputation of the digits and limbs when workers are not properly trained, safety equipment is not provided or used, or when the worker is distracted.
Safety Tips to Prevent Injuries
- Wear proper protective clothing and gear.
- Keep the worksite clean to avoid slips and falls.
- Receive training before starting to work on new tools and equipment.
- Do not use tools that are defective or are in poor condition.
- Take regular breaks.
- Look out for the safety of other workers.
- Report any safety issues to the supervisor or employer immediately.
St. Louis Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you have been injured at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. If you are having trouble receiving all of the benefits you deserve, talk to a St. Louis work comp lawyer to protect your legal rights. Call The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300.