Preventing Manufacturing Accidents in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC

By Peter DePaolis

Maryland’s Domino Sugar plant has experienced several manufacturing accidents in recent years. A forklift operator was killed after suffering injuries to his head when he fell off the forklift and was then run over by it. A state labor official commented that forklift operators are not required to wear seat belts depending on what type of forklift is being used. Prior to this, Domino Sugar was fined by state officials when it allowed sugar dust to accumulate in the factor, which was blamed for a huge explosion that blew out windows and destroyed equipment. And, earlier in the decade, a Domino Sugar employee was killed when he was doused in calcium hydroxide which was being used to clean heavy equipment.

Employees who work in manufacturing positions are often subject to dangerous work conditions. Thousands of such workers are injured every year because of defective or improperly maintained equipment or poor training. An experienced Maryland, Washington, D.C. or Northern Virginia personal injury lawyer can help you file worker compensation claims or take additional steps to help you receive compensation for your injuries.

How to Prevent Manufacturing Accidents

One of the most important things that employers can do to prevent manufacturing accidents is to have a training program in place for all of their employees.

  • Training on the proper operation of machinery should be frequent and thorough. People working with machinery become comfortable around it after a while and begin to pay less attention to what they are doing. This can lead to accidents.
    It is beneficial to have posters and signs throughout the workplace. Employers are then constantly reminded of the need to be vigilant and of how they should be operating machinery.
  • Managers set the example, and they, in particular, should be frequently trained and careful to practice proper workplace safety.
  • Both employers and employees should make efforts to ensure that the workplace always remains clean and organized.
  • When a workplace is cluttered, an employee is cramped and has less space to maneuver and perform his or her job. A clean and organized workplace lets employees know what to expect and where to find things. There is less chaos.
  • Along with safety and machinery training, employees should undergo training in what to do if an accident does occur, including first aid training.
  • First aid training is necessary in the event that there is an accident so that the injuries can be minimized and treated as quickly and properly as possible. Employees trained on what to do for an accident are less likely to become stressed and make poor decisions.

Finally, employers should hold safety meetings at regular intervals, perhaps monthly, to discuss ways to improve, to commend proper safety habits, and to enforce the rules by punishing infractions. Employees are unlikely to adhere to safety rules if they see that the employer does not appear to care about safety. Be serious about being safe.

For more information on preventing manufacturing accidents, contact an experienced Maryland, Washington, D.C., or Northern Virginia personal injury attorney if you are injured in a manufacturing accident or are concerned for your workplace safety.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.