Quite often our firm gets the opportunity to represent folks who are injured on the job and we are proud to do so. A worker can file a workers’ compensation claim but typically the recovery in that sort of claim is woefully inadequate to compensate an injured worker. Thus, on many occasions a worker becomes frustrated and angry with the workers’ compensation system that was set up at the turn of the century and hasn’t been significantly improved since that time.
When an injured worker comes to our firm, we fully investigate the cause of an injury to determine if a third party, other than the employer, was responsible for the worker’s injury. Quite often we discover that a machine that caused the injury was defectively designed.
When a machine is manufactured, the manufacturer must determine what hazards are inherent in the operation of the machine. Once these hazards are determined, the manufacturer must ask itself whether the hazard can be “designed out” so that workers won’t be injured. If the conclusion is that the hazard cannot be designed out then the manufacturer must next determine how to guard against the hazard. There are numerous effective guards, such as interlock devices, that can be put in place to prevent many horrific injuries to workers.
If the hazard cannot be designed out or guarded against, then a manufacturer must appropriately warn the user of the machine about the hazard. These warnings, however, must not be used as a tool to avoid designing out or guarding against the hazard. A warning is a last resort for a manufacturer if the first two options are not viable.
We are currently handling cases for workers who have been severely burned and who have lost arms and fingers due to a manufacturer’s failure to follow the rules of designing out hazards, guarding against hazards, and warning against hazards. Fortunately, we have been able to achieve results that have significantly aided injured workers above and beyond the workers’ compensation laws. These types of cases will always be a point of emphasis at our law firm. If you need additional information contact Cole Portis or Kendall Dunson at 800-898-2034 or by email at Cole.Portis@beasleyallen.com or Kendall.Dunson@beasleyallen.com.
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