Missing machine guards can cause catastrophic workplace injuries


According to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, the point of operation of equipment and machines in all industries must be protected against any injury risks. Adequate, and properly installed safeguarding is crucial, and it must be emphasized that workers should never remove or tamper with safety devices like sensors or machine guards. The lack of machine guards can cause catastrophic injuries.

Even when guards are installed, workers must understand the dangers posed by pulleys, gears and other moving or rotating parts. Most vulnerable are those working in metal fabrication, auto workshops, welding shops and manufacturing or mechanical facilities. Hazards can be posed by anything from a simple box fan or table saw to robotic equipment and procedures that involve hazardous chemicals.

Machines can be equipped with fixed or adjustable guards or sensors that instantly shut down the machine when an invisible or visible barrier is compromised. Another method to deactivate machines involves floor mats, gates, bars, cables or wires that shut down the machine as soon as a worker steps on a trigger device or enters a dangerous area. Pullbacks and restraints that are attached to wrists or other points on the worker’s body can prevent workers from moving too close to dangerous working parts.

Although most employers in California prioritize employee safety, workers in industrial facilities will always be at risk of suffering workplace injuries. Fortunately, the state-regulated workers’ compensation insurance system is a no-fault program that offers financial assistance with medical expenses and lost wages caused by on-the-job accidents. An experienced attorney can help with the benefits claims process to pursue recovery of benefits that will cover at least the medical costs and lost wages of an injured worker. Victims of amputations or other catastrophic injuries that caused permanent disabilities are often able to receive additional benefits.

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