Over a million people in California work in manufacturing and have dedicated their careers to making the products we use every day. From cars to electronics, to food and clothing, California has the largest state economy and manufacturing output in the United States. Unfortunately, the factory workers in charge of processing, sorting, and packing products on an assembly line or using heavy machinery to produce goods are at extremely high risk for injury. In fact, the manufacturing industry is among the top three occupations with the largest number of injuries resulting from days away from work.
If you are a factory worker who is injured on the job, the days and weeks following your accident can feel like a blur. This is especially the case if you are the primary breadwinner and your family depends on your income for necessities like shelter and food. No one goes to work in the morning expecting to suffer a life-changing injury. When it does happen, though, the workers’ compensation system makes the recovery process a bit easier with benefits that cover medical expenses, wage replacement, and training for a new job if you’re unable to return to your previous position.
At the Law Office of Gerald Brody & Associates, our attorneys are dedicated to helping factory workers collect compensation for their industrial injuries so they can make a full physical and financial recovery.
Common injuries for industrial workers
Not only do factory workers have physically demanding jobs, but they must also constantly navigate and avoid the hazards of working in chemical manufacturing plants and other production facilities. While workers in different environments perform different job duties, most face similar risks across the industry. Here’s a look at the most common accidents for industrial workers and the industrial injuries that can follow.
Contact with an object or equipment
Factory workers can become injured if they come in contact with an object or a piece of equipment. For example, a factory worker could have a piece of clothing caught in a machine and suffer a crushed limb. A worker could also become caught, stuck, or crushed by a collapsing structure or piece of falling material.
Manufacturing jobs are physically demanding. They require workers to be on their feet, lift heavy objects, bend, twist, and work in awkward positions. Overexertion injuries happen when a worker is pushed beyond his or her physical capabilities, becomes fatigued, and experiences reduced muscular capacity. Some of the most common overexertion injuries include sprains, strains, and back injuries.
Slips, trips, and falls
Manufacturing plants are full of slip, trip, and fall accidents waiting to happen. A spilled liquid on the floor can cause a factory worker to fall and break a bone. Misplaced objects present a tripping hazard. Factory workers can easily fall from an elevated platform if it is not properly secured with safety railings.
Repetitive motion injuries
As the name suggests, repetitive motion injuries (RMIs) happen when a factory worker repeats the same motions every day for an extended period. These injuries develop over time as a worker’s connective tissues, including tendons and ligaments, slowly wear down and become inflamed. The longer a repetitive motion injury goes without treatment, the worse a worker’s prognosis and symptoms can become.
Exposure to harmful substances
Factory workers with jobs in chemical manufacturing plants and other production facilities are constantly exposed to harmful substances. A worker can inhale toxic fumes that lead to a respiratory illness. Or, a dangerous substance may splash on a worker’s clothing or skin and cause a chemical burn or even blindness.
Common industrial injuries among factory workers include:
Illness due to chemical exposure
Spinal cord injuries
Carpal tunnel syndrome
In many cases, industrial injuries force factory workers to take time off work. A severely injured employee may need surgery and rehabilitation before returning to his or her previous job. However, just because a factory worker suffers a job-related injury doesn’t mean he or she must forfeit a regular paycheck. In California, workers’ compensation provides injured workers with medical benefits and wage loss benefits that are critical to a full recovery.
Options for injured industrial workers in California
Employees who are injured on the job in California do not need to use their own health insurance or pay out of pocket to get medical treatment. Eligible workers can file for workers’ compensation benefits that will aid in their recovery. After an industrial injury, the first thing you should do is notify your employer. He or she will provide you with a DWC-1 Claim Form, which you must fill out and return to your employer. When recounting your accident, try to be as detailed and honest as possible. This form will be used to determine whether or not you will receive workers’ compensation benefits that will pay for your medical expenses. If you need assistance filling out your claim form, a workers’ compensation attorney can help.
Workers’ compensation also provides wage replacement equal to roughly two-thirds of an employee’s average weekly earnings. In the event of a worker’s death following an industrial accident, workers’ compensation provides monetary benefits to surviving family members. If your claim is denied, which unfortunately happens even in legitimate cases, an industrial injury and plant accident attorney can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Hurt on the job? Call an industrial injury and plant accident attorney in San Diego
Jobs in manufacturing are among the most dangerous of any industry. These physically demanding roles put workers at risk for injuries and expose them to harmful substances that could render them unable to work for weeks or even months. At the Law Office of Gerald Brody & Associates, we specialize in helping factory workers collect fair compensation for their injuries so they can recover and return to normal life as quickly as possible. While getting hurt on the job is always unfortunate, it helps to know that an attorney is on your side to negotiate with the insurance company and represent your best interests.
Call the Law Office of Gerald Brody & Associates today at (619) 528-9800 to schedule your free consultation with an industrial injury and plant accident attorney in San Diego.