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Heavy Machinery and the Construction Site Dangers They Cause

By Cleveland Personal Injury Attorney on March 15, 2024

A Road Roller truck on a freshly poured asphalt highway.

Construction workers and others who work with heavy machinery helped build this country and continue to help keep things running smoothly today. Heavy machinery makes holes in solid surfaces, flattens asphalt, lifts people and equipment, mixes and pours cement, and cuts through almost anything. However, workers can suffer catastrophic injuries when heavy machinery is broken, misused, or poorly maintained.

If you suffered an injury from a heavy machinery accident at work, you could be facing a lifetime of chronic pain and disabilities. Your Cleveland construction site injury lawyer will ensure your workers’ comp claim is filed correctly, all paperwork is submitted on time, and you are represented if a claim is denied. In addition to your workers’ comp benefits, your attorney may also be able to get you compensation through a third-party claim or lawsuit.

What Is Heavy Machinery?

The term “heavy machinery” does not only refer to the weight of a piece of equipment. Heavy machinery includes large machinery or equipment used across many industries, including construction, farming, manufacturing, utilities, mining, warehousing, and transportation.

Operating heavy machinery requires skill, endurance, and concentration, and serious risks are involved with that type of work. Businesses that use heavy machinery must ensure their workers are adequately trained, and the correct safety protocols are always followed.

Examples of heavy machinery include:

  • Cranes
  • Bulldozers
  • Excavators
  • Compactors
  • Cement mixers
  • Dump trucks
  • Road graders
  • Trenchers
  • Forklifts
  • Steam rollers
  • Rock crushers
  • Pumps
  • Saws
  • Compressors
  • Loaders
  • Backhoes
  • Bobcats
  • Jackhammers
  • Excavators
  • Scissor lifts

What Causes Heavy Machinery Accidents?

There are several inherent risks when using heavy machinery. A significant threat is struck-by injuries caused by swinging and rolling objects and materials that come flying out of machines. In the construction industry, collapsing structures such as walls, ceilings, and scaffolding result from poor planning, substandard materials, and bad construction techniques.

Vehicle collisions occur at many worksites due to speeding, failure to check blind spots, and inadequate warnings when backing. Electrocution, a devastating and often fatal injury, is often caused by faulty wiring, contact with power lines, exposed wiring, ground faults, and electrical fires.

Entanglement accidents happen when a worker gets caught by or pulled into a piece of machinery. Falling objects, structures, and equipment that tip over like cranes cause crush injuries, amputation, and fatalities as workers often become pinned between objects. Fires and explosions are caused by combustible material, heat, electrical malfunction, and defective equipment.

Heavy machinery accidents are the result of employer negligence, including poor planning, inadequate procedures, and failure to follow OSHA safety rules. The most common causes of these tragic events include:

  • Poor maintenance
  • Inadequate training
  • Lack of inspections
  • Inadequate supervision
  • Hazardous working conditions
  • Lack of safety gear
  • Mechanical defects
  • Failure to post warning signs
  • Equipment design flaws

How Your Cleveland Heavy Machinery Accident Lawyer Can Help

If you’ve suffered any illness or injury caused or aggravated by an event at work, inform your supervisor and seek medical attention immediately. You’ll also want to contact an Ohio workers’ compensation attorney who will guide you through the workers’ comp process.

A third-party heavy machinery injury claim includes the following types of damages:

  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Occupational therapy
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • In-home nursing care
  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Medical devices
  • Disfigurement
  • Wheelchair ramps for your home
  • Loss of consortium
  • Wrongful death

Workers’ compensation insurance in Ohio provides money for medical treatment and partial income replacement for workers who are injured on the job. But in many cases, it’s not enough money to cover your expenses and long-term injuries caused by the accident.

Your heavy machinery accident attorney will file a claim or lawsuit against any negligent third parties that contributed to your injuries, including drivers, vendors, private contractors, property owners, and manufacturers of defective equipment.

Were You Injured on the Job in Cleveland?

The experienced litigators at George Mineff, Jr., Attorney at Law, have been helping Ohio workers since 1984. We’re listed by the independent rating agency Super Lawyers and have a Distinguished rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

We’ll listen to your story and recommend the best strategy for your case. Call (216) 621-3930 to learn more today – your initial consultation with us is free.

“George and his son Nick are exceptional attorneys. I can't express in words how much gratitude I have for their patience and compassion…”
- T. Kennedy, Google Review