New York City Defective Machinery Law Firm


Defective Machinery Injury Locations

Machinery is an important part of life for many Americans, both at work and at home. Many jobs can be only accomplished with power and precision by machines, and machines are particularly common in certain lines of work. Power loaders, forklifts, steam presses, balers, and cranes all allow difficult jobs to be completed with ease. It is very likely you use machinery if you work in any of the following fields:

  • Manufacturing
  • Agriculture
  • Construction

Even if you do not work with machines, however, you are likely to encounter them in your daily life. More and more aspects of American life have become automated as our homes are filled with a variety of machines, including trash compactors, microwave ovens, dishwashers, and washing machines on a more local level.

Although not all machines are dangerous, many can cause devastating injuries if something goes wrong. And because of the automated nature of machines, meaning there is no human safeguard to shut down the machine if something malfunctions, these injuries can cause loss of limb or even loss of life. It becomes imperative for manufacturers to take into account the dangers these machines present, and that safety must always be the first consideration when designing and manufacturing a machine.

Despite the necessity of proper safety protocols when manufacturing these devices, machine accident injuries are disturbingly common. Since the injuries can be extensive, extended stays in the hospital can be required and prolonged physical therapy can be necessary. An individual who has suffered a serious, debilitating injury is frequently unable to return to the same type of work before the injury occurred. In many fields light duty can be offered, but in manufacturing, construction, and agriculture, there may be no light duty work available.

Defective Machinery Liability

The vast majority of machinery accidents are preventable if proper safety protocols are developed and followed. Though there is always the possibility that a machine malfunction could occur regardless of safety features and maintenance, most accidents of this type are associated with some type of safety shortcoming. It is important that a full investigation take place when an accident occurs, particularly if the accident happened on the job. Relying on the employer to conduct a complete investigation is usually unwise, as there is little incentive for the employer to discover underlying problems that might have contributed to the event.

When looking into a machinery accident, experienced investigators expect to find the accident was caused by one of three factors. These three factors are:

  • Design defect, where a fundamental flaw in the design of the device caused malfunction and injury
  • Manufacturer error, where a defect in the manufacturing process has rendered the machine unsafe to use
  • Improper installation

Most machinery accidents are not truly accidental, in that they could have been preventable if proper steps were taken ahead of time. Design defects and manufacturer errors are often the result of prioritizing profits over safety, or the result of rushing a product to market without proper testing. Improper installation is usually negligence on the part of the installer, whether it be failing to install proper shutdown mechanisms or powering the appliance with faulty wiring.

Machinery Accident Safety and Prevention

“Forewarned is forearmed” should be the primary directive when working with machinery. The more you know about the machine you are using, the less likely you are to be injured. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that proper training is provided, but there are additional steps the worker can take to decrease the likelihood of injury. And if the machine is a household appliance, knowing how it functions can help prevent accidents.

First, educate yourself about the safety features of the machine. This should start with researching the protocols your workplace has in place and reading any provided safety literature, paying special attention to any shutdown mechanisms or safety guards. It is important you also extend your research outside of the workplace and attempt to determine if there are additional safety protocols other companies are using that yours is not. Those additional safety protocols could be what are needed to prevent an injury.

If you can, determine if the machine in question has a history of accidents. All too often the same machine will injure multiple people before it is pulled from service or updated with proper safety equipment. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to determine whether or not a machine has a history of accidents, as employers often refuse to share those types of records with employees. For household appliances, the internet is a valuable tool for determining whether a machine has a history of malfunction and injury, and a quick web search can help you determine whether a recall has been issued for a faulty device.

Once you have learned all there is to be learned about the machine, it is important to respect its power. Always pay full attention when working with machinery, as even one slip can result in severe injury. Make sure that other people in the area are also paying proper attention, as their inattentiveness could result in either their injury, or yours.

Manufacturers and employers cannot be depended upon to prioritize safety for their workers. All too often, profit motivation comes before common sense. Fortunately, laws exist to require manufacturers ensure that certain safety standards are met; to require employers to follow minimum safety standards; and to hold manufacturers and employers liable who fail to follow these guidelines.

Conducting a thorough investigation into a machine accident requires experience. Knowing what types of documentation to look for is essential, as is determining whether others have been injured by the same machine due to a similar defect. The New York City law firm of Finz & Finz, P.C., has a long and proven history of holding parties accountable for their negligence. If you believe your injury was caused by defective machinery, call Finz & Finz, P.C., now, toll free, at (855) TOP-FIRM or visit the website to fill out the Free Defective Machinery Injury Case Evaluation Form.