Workplaces contain numerous hazards that endanger the health and wellbeing of employees. However, the presence of unsafe equipment can severely increase these dangers without the knowledge of workers. Often, an employee will trust that the equipment he or she is using is safe and dependable. Should this not be the case, a serious injury-causing accident can result without warning.
At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, our New York dangerous equipment injury attorneys have seen countless incidents of worker injuries and the devastation that they cause. These years of experience have given us the insight and knowledge needed for successful representation in workers' compensation cases. Do not miss out on vital information that can aid in your recovery, get in touch with us today and receive a free consultation concerning your accident and injuries. The knowledge you gain could lead to a healthy and financially stable future. To learn how to file a claim for a dangerous equipment injury, call our offices at (212) 986-7353 and schedule a free consultation.
Construction sites utilize a wide variety of tools, machinery, and equipment to complete a project. Each profession requires its own specialized tools, from welders to carpenters, that can have dangerous defects or faulty components that cause serious injuries. In addition, there are several types of heavy machinery that workers must only use in a safe and cautious manner. Misusing a forklift can lead to a worker becoming impaled, crushed under falling work materials, or injured by collapsing scaffolding.
Common types of dangerous equipment on New York construction sites include:
- Dump trucks
- Compress gas canisters
- Electrical cables
- Power tools
Whether a piece of equipment is provided by a construction company or brought to a job site by a worker, they should always ensure that it is free of any defectives. Brining defective equipment on a job site can lead to catastrophic injuries if another worker is not aware of the defect or if they mishandle it.
Equipment at a workplace is often deemed unsafe due to three reasons:
- It is inherently unsafe by its nature.
- It is improperly used in an unsafe manner.
- It is defective, making it abnormally unsafe.
Inherently unsafe equipment should be clearly marked with warnings. This way, workers will be able to spot it quickly and understand the risks before using it or otherwise interacting with it.
For potentially unsafe equipment, employees should be given proper training concerning its use so they do not use it in a dangerous manner. It may also be recommended that workers be supervised when using this equipment to prevent mistakes.
Equipment can become defective due to accidents and the damage caused by continual use. However, this can also occur because of defects in its design or manufacture. In either case, tools and machines should be inspected before being used to prevent an accident from occurring. If these safety measures are not taken, an accident can easily occur. Often, workers who are the victims of such incidents had little idea that they were in such danger and are not ready to protect themselves.
The type of injury that results from an unsafe equipment accident depends on what tools or machines were involved in the incident. However, victims of such accidents often suffer major injuries, which can put them out of work for an extended period of time or result in disabilities that prevent them from working in the same capacity again. In the most serious incidents, a victim will be unable to work again due to a severe loss of physical capabilities.
You may be entitled to workers' compensation in NY, which will pay for lost wages and the medical procedures needed to recover from injuries or illnesses. However, incidents that are caused by what is deemed as a "third party," such as a contractor or product manufacturer, may be eligible for a lawsuit. Since these parties are not typically protected by New York's workers' compensation guidelines, they can be held legally responsible for their dangerous actions.
The laws surrounding these incidents are complex. As such, those who have been injured while on the job should speak with an experienced attorney in order to better understand what legal options are available to them.
Oftentimes the mishandling of dangerous or defective equipment can cause a worker to become seriously injured. All workers should be properly trained to utilize their specific equipment and avoid utilizing tools that they are unfamiliar with. In addition, if a piece of equipment is known to be defective, supervisors should place warnings on it to keep workers from using it and have it replaced as soon as possible.
While your injuries are likely covered under workers’ compensation, there are also instances where your injuries may not have been caused by a negligent worker or supervisor. All machinery and equipment must go through stringent testing by the manufacturer. If a manufacturer failed to fix a defect or develop their machinery with an unsafe design, they may be found liable for injuries that defect causes.
In the majority of cases, when a construction site receives new equipment and machinery, most workers will assume they are up to code and free of faulty components. However, that is not always the case, and if a machine does malfunction, causing an injury, then you may be able to pursue a product liability claim against the manufacturer. In addition, if the equipment was purchased or rented from a wholesale retailer, they may also be liable. Retailers should always make sure their products are safe for use before selling them to a construction company or worker. Knowingly selling defective equipment or faulty parts can result in a product liability claim if a worker is injured by the defect.
Proving that an injury is eligible for workers' compensation is not an easy process. In order to avoid denial of benefits or compensation that is insufficient and hold any third parties accountable for their actions, it is essential that an injured worker receive help from a skilled New York construction accident attorney. At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, we devote the skills and resources we have gained in years of successful representation to every case we take on. Whatever the cause may be and however a person has been injured, we work toward the recovery and future wellbeing of our clients. To learn more about how we can assist you, call our office at (212) 986-7353.