Manufacturers of all types of machines and equipment have a legal duty to ensure that the products they put on the market are safe. Those working in certain industries, such as construction, manufacturing, and meat-packing, are particularly vulnerable to injuries caused by dangerous machines. Equipment used on work sites are strictly regulated by safety laws and regulations that are intended to protect workers from injury. These laws require employers to ensure that specific safety protocols and procedures are adhered to. Regardless of all these safety measures, countless individuals are injured by dangerous machines every day. Injured victims may be able to recover compensation for their injuries, for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
Common Examples of Dangerous Machines
Although any machine can pose a hazard, there are some machines that are inherently dangerous. Certain types of equipment that are used on job sites are notorious for causing debilitating injuries, including:
- Defective saws
- Defective power tools
- Defective drills
- Defective staple guns
- Defective air compressors
- Defective woodworking machinery
- Poorly designed hand tools that cause carpal tunnel, including handsaws, screwdrivers, and knives
- Poorly designed power tools that cause hand-arm vibration syndrome, a dangerous condition that can result in the need for amputation of limbs
- Machinery without protective guards
- Air-powered machine tools without fail-safe cutoffs
- Non-ergonomically correct workstations
- Assembly line malfunctions
- Poorly designed printing machines
- Poorly designed sewing machines
- Defective ladders, lifts, and scaffolding
- Defective fuel tanks
- Defective heaters
- Defective cranes
- Defective forklifts
- Defective skid loaders
How to Determine if a Product is Defective
Although the specifics of product liability law vary from state to state—some states, like New Jersey, for example have statutes that govern the field, while others rely on the common law—there are generally three types of product liability claims. These are theories that one presents to the court that are recognized as grounds for recovering damages for injuries caused by a defective product:
It is not uncommon for things to go wrong during the manufacturing process. Quality control may be poorly trained or under pressure to make a quota, and they could overlook flaws in a product. In short, these products are ones that have departed from the intended design due to negligence or error. In some cases, a manufacturer may be “strictly liable” for any injuries that result from a manufacturing defect. This means that they can be legally required to pay for victims’ injuries even if they were not negligent or otherwise at fault.
Sometimes, even if a machine is manufactured correctly, the design is inherently flawed. Designers of dangerous machines are also supposed to consider the likelihood that equipment will be used without the proper safety guards and mechanisms in place. Employees often do not always have time to use all prescribed safety measures (although they should). The manufacturer should anticipate this. When a reasonably foreseeable safety issue is not dealt with during the design and manufacturing phase, injured victims may be eligible for compensation for their injuries.
Failure to Warn
Manufacturers are a duty to warn consumers about all dangers that flow from normal use of a product. Adequate instructions should be given that are easy for the average person to understand. In some cases, the use of a warning label on a dangerous product may be adequate, however with complex dangerous machines, this is likely not enough to shield a manufacturer from liability in the event of an injury.
Pennsylvania Product Liability Lawyers at Williams Cedar Pursue Compensation for Victims Injured by Dangerous Machines
Whether you have been injured at home or on-the-job, you deserve answers. Manufacturers have a duty to ensure the safety of consumers or employees who use their products in a foreseeable manner. To speak to a product liability lawyer in Pennsylvania at Williams Cedar, call us at 215-557-0099 or 856-874-7500, or contact us online today.