According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are three million reported nonfatal workplace injuries and illness every year. Furthermore, there were 4,679 fatalities in the workplace in 2014, as reported by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The most dangerous form of work is manual labor, which can include assembly line work. Heavy machinery, such as the kind found in automotive plants, poses a very real threat to all those who work around it. Heavy machinery and the dangers of assembly line production include employment in food processing and packaging, pressing metal, manufacturing clothing, milling grain, forging steel, and processing meat. While stories of workers losing limbs may grab headlines, there are many less dramatic types of injuries that assembly line workers are prone to. As with any repetitive movement made hundreds or thousands of times a day, five days a week, assembly line workers are subject to a slow-moving, yet sometimes completely debilitating injury called a repetitive strain injury (RSI). Whatever the type of injury an assembly line worker faces, it is critical to seek medical attention immediately and report the injury to the employer.
How Does an Assembly Line Injury Occur?
Assembly line work can be dangerous, exhausting work. It is all too common for production demands to override worker safety, which can result in loss of health or life for the victims of assembly line injuries. Listed below are common ways in which assembly line workers suffer serious injury:
Repetitive Strain Injuries
Thousands of workers suffer from a chronic, repetitive strain injuries that they developed over time. By doing the same movement over and over, ligaments, muscles, the nervous system, and cartilage can wear out and fail. These injuries can occur solely due to overuse and repetition as well as strong vibrations, compression, and sustained, awkward positions such as spending too much time hunched over.
Forklift and Truck Accidents
Forklift injuries are all too common in factories and production plants. Other motor vehicle accidents, such as trucks, also attribute to assembly line injuries.
When workers are exposed to dangerous chemicals without the proper protection, the inhalation or skin exposure to these toxic chemicals can cause burns, sickness, and even death. Likewise, the chronic exposure to hazardous chemicals and materials over the years can cause illnesses such as cancer.
Dangerous Machinery or Falling Objects
As machinery grows in size and strength, it poses more risks to those who operate and work around it. Injuries from crushing, by blows, or lacerations can inflict life threatening injuries. Also, when machinery, equipment, or product is stacked too high or contained improperly, it poses a threat of falling on workers.
As with any job, assembly line workers are subject to falls that can cause traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, and fractured bones. Whether the worker falls from a height or simply from ground level, falls can cause severe injury.
If you have suffered an injury on the job, please do not hesitate to seek medical help and legal advice immediately. You may be able to receive compensation for your injury. Contact an experienced Charlotte workers’ compensation attorney today for a free consultation.