Heavy Machinery Accidents
These sorts of injuries often fall within one of the other accident-types, usually occurring in a construction or other workplace setting. In fact, heavy equipment accidents are involved in 9 out of the 10 most common injuries in the workplace.
The most frequent causes of heavy machinery injuries are faulty equipment, failure to implement safety measures, improper training, and bystander accidents. The inherent dangers in operating this equipment are compounded when supervisors fail to meet Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations or improperly train their employees. It is the contractor’s responsibility to certify that all machinery is in good working order, and the site supervisor is charged with ensuring that all operators are comprehensively trained in operation and accident prevention. Although New York law disallows construction workers from suing their direct employer for injuries, they may be allowed to file suit against other responsible parties, such as the equipment manufacturer, property owner, or a sub-contractor.
Heavy Machinery in Other Fields
Construction is not the only professional environment filled with hazardous equipment. Factory work usually involves necessary interaction with heavy machinery. Many of the risks faced at construction sites are also present in factories, such as falling objects or vehicle collisions. Some risks are more likely in the factory setting, such as machine entanglement or repetitive motion complications. The forestry and fishing industries also typically involve frequent use heavy machinery.
We Will Work to Get Results For Your Personal Injury Case
If you are injured while operating heavy equipment, or you are an injured bystander, the attorneys at Campbell & Associates can help you file a Worker’s Compensation claim and discover other parties who may be liable for your injuries. We have over 25 years of experience helping people injured by heavy machinery, and we can help you too. We invite you to call us at 716-992-2222.
Heavy-duty construction requires the use of heavy machinery to complete the job. Common construction equipment that may cause injuries include:
- Asphalt and concrete pavers;
- Concrete mixers;
- Dump trucks;
- Tractors; and/or
- Tunnel boring machines.
Example Heavy Machinery Accident Verdicts
Snead v. E.W. Bliss Company, et al. (N.Y. Sup. 1980) – Plaintiff, a 59-year old power press operator, was attempting to remove a finished piece when the toggle press closed on his hand, requiring eventual amputation. The press had not been inspected for many years, and the manufacturer had not equipped it with any safety devices. The Plaintiff’s employer had installed a guard, but it did not work properly. The Plaintiff sued his employer and the machine’s manufacturer, contending that they were negligent in failing to inform workers of the danger the machine posed, and for failing to properly inspect and maintain the machine. A jury found Defendant manufacturer 77 percent responsible and Defendant employer 23 percent responsible. It awarded Plaintiff $2,037,000 ($3,080,000, adjusted for inflation) for damages, and Plaintiff’s wife $500,000 for loss of services ($1,485,000, adjusted).
Bermingham v. Atl. Concrete Cutting, et al. (N.Y. Sup. 2014) – Plaintiff, a construction worker, was injured when an improperly secured industrial vacuum came loose, fell down an open shaft, and fell on him. He sued the property owner and the general contractor responsible for safety and repairs. The case proceeded to trial and the jury awarded Plaintiff $1,825,000 for past and future pain and suffering, past lost wages, and future lost earning potential.
Migliaccio v. 808 Columbus LLC & Gotham Construction Co., LLC (N.Y. Sup. 2010) – Plaintiff, a 48-year old carpenter/laborer, was working on the foundation for an eventual, large apartment complex. Another worker was operating a heavy-duty excavator nearby. Plaintiff claimed that the excavator created forceful vibrations that caused a car-sized rock fragment to dislodge, slide some 15-20 feet into the excavation pit, and crush his right foot. He eventually had to have all the toes on his right foot amputated. He sued the property owner and the general contractor for negligently directing him to work in an area of close proximity to the heavy-duty excavation equipment. The parties agreed to a pretrial settlement of $4,500,000, plus waiver of Plaintiff’s worker’s compensation lien ($103,326.84).