What Are the Most Common Types of Heavy Equipment Accidents?

By Greg Kohn

Working in industrial facilities, manufacturing plants and construction sites where heavy equipment is used exposes workers to the risk of heavy equipment accidents. Whenever they occur, heavy equipment accidents result in serious physical injuries. In the worst cases, they can cause death.

Often, heavy equipment accidents happen because someone was negligent, either the employer or employee. For the victims, worker’s compensation does provide relief for injuries sustained and losses suffered. If you suffered injury in a workplace heavy equipment accident, contact a New Jersey heavy equipment accident attorney to help you get the full workers’ compensation you deserve.

Types of heavy Equipment Accidents

Heavy equipment includes:

  • Loaders
  • Scrapers
  • Dozers
  • Cranes
  • Graders
  • Backhoes
  • Forklifts
  • Cable plows
  • Compactors
  • Mixers
  • American Augers
  • Logging equipment
  • Haul trucks

This equipment is very useful for work but when improperly handled, can cause accidents. Some of the most common heavy equipment accidents include:

  • Getting caught between vehicles backing up, especially for large onsite vehicles with huge blind spots
  • Getting pinned by heavy machinery
  • Getting struck by falling, flying or discharged objects
  • Getting caught and dragged along by moving machinery
  • Getting struck by moving or rolling over machinery
  • Getting crushed under collapsing structures
  • Falling when mounting or dismounting machinery

These accidents cause severe injuries such as spinal cord injuries, head and neck injuries, broken bones, concussions, electrical burns, cuts and lacerations, digit amputations, severed limbs and even worse, death. Workers who suffer injury face additional troubles in the form of high medical costs, lost wages from time away from work and lost earning capacity from permanently debilitating injuries. These make the process of recovery extremely difficult.

Negligence in Heavy Equipment Accidents

Many heavy equipment accidents are avoidable if employers and employees in industrial and construction sites follow the law and perform their roles prudently and diligently. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has regulations to ensure safety in the workplace and limit heavy equipment accident occurrences. For example, OSHA requires:

  • Heavy equipment operators are properly trained on how to handle the equipment properly. Training should include lessons on handling controls such as backup alarms, negotiating slopes, proper mounting and dismounting practices and wearing seatbelts. Operational manuals should also be provided to the personnel for review. Untrained personnel should not be allowed to operate heavy equipment.
  • Heavy equipment is inspected regularly to ensure it is in proper working condition. If not, it should undergo maintenance.
  • Stationary heavy equipment should be parked on level ground. Unused heavy equipment should be stored safely.

Employers owe their employees a duty of care to provide safe working conditions and proper equipment. If they fail to abide by these regulations, they compromise their own safety and that of their workmates. When this breach of their duty of care occasions an injurious accident, negligence has occurred.

If you suffer an injury in a heavy equipment accident as a result of someone’s negligence, you deserve full worker’s compensation for your medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, physical disfigurement, lost wages and lost earning capacity. Contact the New Jersey construction accident injury attorney to fight for your worker’s compensation.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.