Metal fabrication shops where structures are built by cutting, bending, and assembling metal parts are filled with hazardous conditions that could result in a worker’s injuries or deaths. There are hundreds of fabrication shops in Texas, and they support many other industries, such as the oil and gas, petrochemical, and power supply industries. However, metal fabricators face many hazards from the heavy machinery they use—such as grinders, sanders, band saws, forklifts, and drill presses—as well as exposure to harmful chemicals.
The risks workers face are compounded when employers do not implement safety measures and insist that employees follow them. Even worse, Texas is one of the few states that allows employers to opt out of providing workers’ compensation benefits to employees hurt on the job.
Common Injuries Metal Fabricators Suffer
Metal fabrication shops are full of hazards that can result in workplace accidents. Some of the causes of these accidents include:
- Failing to provide training in the safe use of machines and tools
- Making improper modifications to equipment tools and safety guards
- Not properly maintaining equipment and replacing outdated models with newer, safer ones
- Getting entangled in conveyor belts
- Not adequately ventilating work areas to avoid exposure to harmful chemicals and particles in the air
- Allowing co-worker negligence or inattentiveness
- Not implementing safety measures to avoid burns, fires, or explosions
Metal fabrication workers can suffer many injuries on the job. Some of these include:
- Injuries from handling materials. Injuries can be caused by improper lifting of heavy materials, repeated exposure to vibrations, or continued repetitive motions. Workers can suffer many injuries to their joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons, and nerves in their backs, arms, legs, abdomen, and neck. Long-term conditions they could develop include intervertebral disc injury, repetitive strain injury, occupational overuse syndrome, and cumulative trauma disorder.
- Injuries from power tools. Employees can also suffer musculoskeletal injuries, including carpel tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and repetitive strain injury, from the improper use of power tools or constant exposure to the machine’s vibrations. They can also suffer eye injuries from flying materials, hearing loss from excessive noise, and serious respiratory illnesses or worse from exposure to harmful chemicals.
- Injuries from poor guarding. Poorly maintained guardrails or the lack of them is one of the most common causes of barrier-related injuries resulting in workers suffering hand injuries or losing fingers or other body parts in machinery accidents.
If you suffered injuries in a fabrication accident, you could be entitled to compensation from your non-subscriber employer even if he fails to provide workers’ compensation benefits. Call us at (817) 380-4888 to schedule a free consultation to learn about your legal options.