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Heavy Machinery Accidents

Heavy Machinery Accidents

Accidents on a construction site can involve various scenarios, however none are as dangerous as those involving heavy machinery. The operation of heavy machinery requires special training and handling. It’s assumed that everyone on a construction site knows what they are doing, and those in charge of maintenance are following up with safety protocols, however that is not always the case. Many construction company or employers may be negligent to some or all safety practices that can result in a serious injury to an employee or even a third-party at a construction site. If you suffered severe injuries or lost a loved one due to a heavy machinery accident, consult with a lawyer right away.                

Burbank Heavy Machinery Accidents Attorney   

Construction accidents are avoidable, especially those surrounding heavy machinery. When operating a heavy machine, the construction workers should hold the proper training and certification and follow OSHA standards to reduce the chance of getting into an accident. The project manager or construction company is in charge of making sure their employees meet all these requirements.

When an accident does happen, construction companies need to assume responsibility for any negligence that may have taken place during the accident. If you received severe injuries or lost a family or friend during an accident with a heavy machine, our attorneys at Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers, APC can help you file a personal injury or wrongful death suit, so that you can receive compensation for any costs associated with your loss.

Our attorneys at Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers, APC work in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange county and Riverside. Call (818) 459-4999 to schedule a consultation with us or fill out an initial contact form on our page.

Overview of Heavy Machinery Accidents

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What Counts as Heavy Machinery?

Heavy machinery, also synonymously used with heavy equipment, is an equipment that is mostly used on construction sites by construction workers. Most of the heavy machinery operates by way of a motor and a construction worker manually driving the machine. Some commonly known heavy machinery includes:

  • Excavators
  • Backhoe
  • Bulldozer
  • Graders
  • Tower Cranes
  • Feller Buncher
  • Dump Trucks
  • Crawler Loaders

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Types of Heavy Machinery Accidents

Some of the most common accidents seen involving heavy machinery are:

  • Rollover – In heavy machinery rollovers, the center of gravity acts on the force of gravity and moves outside its wheel or tracks. This is mostly seen during instances in which the heavy machinery is being operated on a steep sole or unbalanced surface.
  • Collapses – Heavy machinery collapses occur when there is an imbalance of weight on the structure of the heavy machine or its content. If the surface of the heavy machine is also unsteady, that can also lead to a collapse.
  • Malfunctions – Heavy machinery malfunctions can take place when the machine is not operating correctly. A malfunctioning machine can lead to a dead motor, or the machine ending up in dangerous circumstances for the construction workers.
  • Collision – Heavy machinery collisions can take place when a heavy machine collides against a non-moving structure or with another machine.
  • Explosions – Heavy machinery explosions can take place when the machine makes contact with an electric fuse or collapses with explosive material.

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OSHA Standards for Heavy Machinery Use

Operating heavy machinery requires special training and certification. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has specific regulations over heavy machinery use. The construction company is normally in charge of verifying training for projects. Training is highly necessary, as a trained employee knows how to operate the equipment according to safety standards and will be able to refer to his or her training knowledge when handling an emergency situation. For example, a trained individual is less likely to overload the heavy machinery vehicle that may lead to a rollover or collision accident.

Other OSHA standards include using personal protective equipment (PPE) every time workers are on a construction site (i.e., helmet, high-visibility safety vest, glasses). Maintaining a clean work space at the construction site is also necessary to reduce the amount of collisions or hazards found on site when operating a heavy equipment.

OSHA standards also require regular maintenance of the actual heavy machinery to reduce the chance of malfunctioning. Active maintenance can include regular inspections of the machinery and fixing an issue with the heavy machinery as soon as it becomes known. A lack of regular maintenance on the heavy machinery may constitute for a product liability lawsuit.

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Workers’ Compensation/Liability for Heavy Machinery Accidents

Worker’s compensation may be something that can be filed with the construction company. Contractors may not have eligibility to file worker’s compensation from the construction company, so they may just switch to filing a lawsuit instead. Some construction companies may not have worker’s compensation, so you may need to consult with an Attorney right away to pursue legal action. If you are a third-party individual who was on a construction site work for business-related or other authorized reasons, you may also be entitled to compensation if the heavy machinery caused you severe injuries.

You have two years from the date of the injury to file for a personal injury lawsuit according to California law. However, if the claim involved a governmental entity in charge of the equipment or construction site, then you may only have six months from the date of the injury to file your claim. Consult with a personal injury attorney to learn more.

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Additional Resources

International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) | Heavy Machinery Training— The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) gives an overview of the specific training that is necessary on construction sites. Additionally, the page provides online sites where to find such training available.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) | Construction Standards – Click to find out more about the necessary steps to comply with OSHA standards on construction sites. OSHA provides every regulation for heavy machinery operation in detail.

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Los Angeles Heavy Machinery Accidents Lawyer

When a construction company or employer is negligent to the safety of its workers amid a construction project, they need to be held accountable. Construction work is already complicated as it is, so every protocol must be followed to minimize risks. Management at construction sites need to be wary of heavy machinery safety standards at all times.

If you are a worker who perceives the construction company, employer, or project manager as negligent to safety practices, you need to retain legal counsel right away. Our attorneys at Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers, APC understand you may be dealing with severe injuries or the loss of a loved one, and we want to help you recover for damages. We will represent you in court if need be.

Contact our firm at (818) 459-4999 to schedule a confidential consultation or fill out a free case review form. We work on a contingency basis which means you don’t pay anything unless we win your case.

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