Workers in industrial environments face many hazards, including heavy machinery, potential chemical leaks, and explosions. Factories are subject to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety regulations that are there to ensure employees have safe working environments to perform their jobs. Despite these regulations, over one million workers around the world suffer fatal injuries in industrial accidents or from industrial occupational diseases each year, according to a recent International Labor Organization (ILO) report.
Industrial Accident Injuries
Industrial accidents may be compensable under Workers’ Compensation if the worker’s physical injury or occupational disease arise out of or in the course their employment. Common injuries suffered by industrial workers are:
- Lifting injuries
- Bone fractures
- Loss of limbs
- Head injuries or contusions
- Dangerous chemical exposures
- Inhalation injuries
- Slips or falls
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Psychological traumas
Causes of Industrial Accidents
The most common causes of industrial accidents are unsafe working conditions, which may refer to defective equipment, poor workplace design, inadequate lighting or ventilation, and inadequate safety devices. Other causes of industrial accidents include:
- Environmental conditions, including adverse weather conditions, dust, and fumes
- Psychological reasons, such as fatigue, frustration, or anxiety
OSHA Safety Regulations
To help prevent these types of injuries, OSHA regulations require employees be given protective gear, such as hard hats, eye shields, breathing masks, and gloves. Employees should also be trained on how to properly handle machinery, tools, and chemicals. Under OSHA, employers are required to regularly check the workplace, as well as all equipment, for potential hazards. If found, these hazards must be corrected immediately. Employees must also have access to safety equipment, including fire extinguishers and eyewash stations in multiple locations.
Ways to Improve Industrial Worker Safety
- Provide ongoing training
- Display safety posters
- Purchase newer equipment with additional safety features
- Label hazardous materials
- Post signs to make emergency wash stations easier to find
- Make sure the environment is clean, organized, and reasonably free of clutter
- Create worker safety teams that will conduct training, identify potential workplace hazards, enforce safety policies, and make recommendations on how to improve
- Ensure that workers have adequate lighting, heating, ventilation, and flooring
South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Benefits
South Carolina is a no-fault workers’ compensation state. Workers in South Carolina who are injured on the job are entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits. To be eligible, injured workers must report their injuries to their employers within 90 days of the accident or diagnosis. If the employer does not file a claim on the employee’s behalf, the employee has up to two years to file their claim directly with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. South Carolina Workers’ Compensation benefits may include compensation for medical care, lost wages, and disability.
Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Those Injured in Industrial Accidents
If you were injured in an industrial accident or contracted an occupational disease, contact the knowledgeable Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A.. Our attorneys have the experience necessary to help you obtain Workers’ Compensation benefits in South Carolina. From our six convenient locations, we provide legal services to those in Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County, as well as the towns of Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Rock Hill, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Florence, and Spartanburg. Contact us online or call us at 803-929-3600 to schedule a free, confidential initial consultation.