When you work in a plant or refinery, you have to put a lot of faith in your equipment. After all, many of the jobs in these settings simply could not be done without the help of heavy equipment. You could think of it as a partnership between a person and their machine. But for a partnership to work effectively, both sides have to do their part. And when heavy equipment malfunctions, injuries are often the result.
How Workplace Equipment Malfunctions
Many different factors can cause plant and refinery equipment to malfunction. Here are some common causes and kinds of problems:
- Improper or inadequate maintenance. A piece of equipment that is not properly maintained has the potential to become dangerous in a hurry. The resulting accidents can be devastating. Corrosion of the metal parts of machinery is one of the things to watch for.
- Ignoring regulations related to chemicals. Failure to follow the rules when it comes to chemicals in the workplace can lead to dangerous reactions—and those reactions can sometimes result in a fire or explosion. Inadequate ventilation can lead to similar destructive occurrences.
- Vehicle collisions and being struck by objects. Plants and refineries are often crowded, which can lead to collisions between forklifts or other machinery. Additionally, moving parts of machinery can strike operators—especially if the operator has not been properly trained.
- Poor upkeep of electrical systems. Plant and refinery employees may be exposed to dangerous levels of electricity due to poor design or maintenance. Consequences may range from electrical burns to death.
- Injury related to ergonomics. If a worker is forced to do repetitive tasks in an awkward position—particularly if significant amounts of weight are involved—they are likely to suffer injuries to their back, spine, and/or muscles.
You Should Be Compensated for Your Injuries
If you are hurt on the job, you are entitled to compensation. This is true whether your employer participates in the Texas workers’ compensation program or is instead what is known as a non-subscriber employer. Those employers who opt out of the workers’ comp system may well try to downplay your injuries or blame you for the accident in the hope that they will not have to cover the full costs related to your injury.
And those costs can include far more than just your immediate medical bills. A non-subscriber employer may be liable to cover current, future, and ongoing medical costs; lost wages and benefits—both now and in the future; and more. In some cases, you may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering as well.
Your employer and their insurance company will want to minimize any payment they make to you. So they may try to rush you into signing off on a quick, low-ball settlement amount. It is essential that you do not fall into this trap.
Instead, you need to hire an attorney right away to represent you against your non-subscriber employer. Your personal injury lawyer will negotiate for a fair settlement—or represent you in a lawsuit against your employer if necessary. An attorney can fully investigate the incident and discover the root causes of the equipment malfunction and your subsequent injuries.
Having a lawyer by your side is the best way to ensure you receive all of the compensation you are entitled to following an injury accident at a plant or refinery.
SJ Injury Attorneys Can Help You Get Properly Compensated
The lawyers of SJ Injury Attorneys are ready to fight for you if you are injured at work and your employer is a non-subscriber employer (please note: we do not handle workers’ compensation claims). Do not let your employer or their insurance company rush you to accept an unfair settlement that does not fully compensate you. Instead, contact us to discuss your case and to find out how we can help ensure you are treated fairly.