Employees who work with equipment or machinery capable of causing serious injury or death need to be adequately trained to properly use and handle the equipment as well on safety precautions and practices. The employer should ensure employees are qualified to handle the machinery and if not then receive the necessary training.
Those who become injured on the job because of inadequate employee training may file for workers’ compensation benefits. But in New York, workers’ compensation is available to injured workers regardless of fault and negligence.
It is not necessary to prove fault on the part of the employer in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits, but it is still important to inform your employer if you believe you’ve been injured because of improper training. The employer may also be in violation of certain guidelines of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
In some cases though, equipment-related accidents may be the result of machine malfunction. Or in others, another party may improperly use a machine that causes injury.
If you, your employer or a co-worker is not responsible for the accident and injuries, a third party may be. In this case, you may be able to pursue a third-party claim against that negligent party in addition to recovering workers’ compensation. Talk to your attorney about this possibility.
Common Equipment-Related Work Accidents
Some jobs and industries are more likely to require the use of equipment or machinery and therefore carry an elevated risk for injury related to inadequate employee training. Industries and equipment commonly associated with workplace accidents are described in the following paragraphs.
- Warehousing/Forklift injuries: Forklift operators need comprehensive training on how to properly operate the forklift and safely maneuver it before beginning work duties that require forklift use. When a forklift operator is not properly trained, any of the following may happen: accidents such as overturning, hitting objects or other employees, falling off of it, driving it off a dock or other surface or being pinned against another object by the forklift.
- Construction: Employees in the construction fields encounter various risks that may be prevented with proper safety and equipment use training. Examples of construction accidents include electrocution, falls from high surfaces such as scaffolding or roofs or injuries from sharp tools such as saws. Adequate equipment training can reduce the potential for serious injury or death on the construction site.
- Welding: Welders must wear appropriate safety equipment to protect them from occupational injuries and long-term illnesses caused by the use of welding equipment. Proper training and safety education programs can help employees in this field protect themselves from harm.
There are many other industries where equipment and safety training are essential to employee wellbeing, and where inadequate employee training can cause serious accidents. Factories, laboratories, transportation and shipping industries all use equipment and offer risks and health concerns that must be addressed by employers.
If You’ve Been Injured at Work, Call Gacovino, Lake & Associates
If you’ve been injured at work because of inadequate employee training, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Understanding your rights and how to obtain benefits is an important first step to completing a successful claim. In many cases, a workers’ compensation attorney may be necessary to help you navigate the complicated claims process and to protect your rights. Your attorney will advocate on your behalf, will handle any denials and will offer guidance on whether you are being offered a fair settlement.
Gacovino, Lake & Associates can help you file a workers’ compensation claim and/or a third-party claim against a negligent manufacturer or other party. Call us today at (800) 550-0000 or contact us online for a free case review.