construction worker back injury

How Heavy Equipment Causes Serious Construction Injuries

Employers often ask their workers to use heavy machinery. However, the employer often does not create the right conditions for safety, or the worker is provided with defective machinery. The experienced New York and New Jersey construction accident lawyers at Hofmann & Schweitzer will get to the bottom of what happened to you at work and let you know if you have a potential construction injury lawsuit. Our firm has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for satisfied accident victims, and our team can go to work for you. 

Employers Can Help Prevent Musculoskeletal Injuries

Construction workers put their bodies under significant strain when they use heavy equipment on the job. The worker must control the equipment and exert the right amount of pressure. 

The best way for workers to avoid severe and debilitating physical injuries is for their employers to train them on the proper ergonomics when using this heavy machinery. There are specific techniques that employees can use to minimize the physical burden on their bodies that can help reduce the chances of musculoskeletal Injuries. 

Additionally, construction employers can control the manner in which an operator uses heavy machinery to help prevent musculoskeletal injuries. For example, the employer can limit the employees' time shifts to minimize the strain on the workers and keep them mentally fresher so they do not make mistakes. The employer can also keep the worker from operating heavy equipment during extreme temperatures when there is more of a risk of injury. Further, the employer must allow the worker to take frequent breaks so they are not sitting in one uncomfortable position for an extended period of time. Finally, the employer or the supervisor should intervene if they see the employee using poor posture to operate the machinery.

Heavy equipment whose usage can cause musculoskeletal Injuries includes:

  • Scrapers
  • Dozers
  • Heavy haul trucks 
  • Backhoes
  • Graders
  • Loaders
  • Excavators

Many of these types of heavy equipment require repetitive motions. The operator may be sitting or standing in the same position for an extended period of time. The power of the machine could cause intense vibration in the operator’s body. Ergonomics matter, and using this machinery improperly can cause serious and debilitating injuries, including:

  • Sprains
  • Strains 
  • Tears
  • Soreness
  • Pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Hernias
  • Connective tissue injuries
  Any of these injuries can limit your daily activities, cause you pain, and interfere with your ability to do construction work.

New York Law Protects Construction Workers

In New York, Labor Law 200 is a general statute that requires an employer to provide adequate protection and precautions for their employees.

New York Industrial Code Section 23-9.2 also requires that “All power-operated equipment shall be maintained in good repair and in proper operating condition at all times.” This regulation requires:

  • Sufficient inspections with adequate frequency to ensure maintenance
  • Correction of defects or unsafe conditions
  • Training for anyone who uses power equipment
  • Proper loading
  • Other safety requirements that may prevent injuries other than musculoskeletal injuries 

Employers can face legal consequences for violating these and other relevant sections of New York construction laws. 

A New York Construction Accident Lawyer Could Help You File a Lawsuit

A construction injury lawyer can review your case to help you determine whether you have a potential lawsuit to recover financial compensation. If you can file and win a lawsuit for negligence or defective equipment, you could be entitled to full financial damages for your injuries. Your recovery could include compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost income, disability, death, and, in some cases, pain, suffering, and other damages. Attorneys Paul Hoffman and Tim Schweitzer have a multi-decade track record investigating construction accident injuries and helping injured construction workers in New York and New Jersey. 

Timothy F. Schweitzer
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Personal injury lawyer specializing in maritime, construction and railroad injury claims.
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