Factory workers do the hard work of making the products and goods that we all use. Despite advances in safety technology and laws that require employers to take precautions, factory workers are still at risk of injuries from the machinery and equipment they operate as well as from dangerous chemicals and other hazards in the workplace. When a factory worker is injured on the job, he or she may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits including paid medical care, replacement of lost wages, and pain and suffering.
For more than 50 years, the factory injury attorneys of Joye Law Firm have helped injured workers in South Carolina obtain the full benefits provided by law. From our offices in Charleston, Columbia, Myrtle Beach, and Clinton, our attorneys have helped factory workers across South Carolina move forward with their lives after suffering life-changing injuries on the job.
Our attorneys at Joye Law Firm have more than 110 years of collective experience, with both of our partners recognized by Super Lawyers. Our firm takes pride in our track record of success. We’ve obtained millions of dollars in compensation for our factory worker clients, regularly securing six-figure settlements and awards for injured workers.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a factory, contact Joye Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys. There is no obligation to you – when you hire us for your case, we do not get paid unless you do.
Common Injuries for Factory Workers
There are as many different kinds of injuries as there are types of manufacturing plants in South Carolina. Some of the most common injuries suffered by factory workers include:
Some of the most common injuries suffered by factory workers include:
- Fractures: Factory workers can suffer broken bones from slip-and-fall accidents, falls from heights, collisions with vehicles, or being crushed by equipment and machinery.
- Soft tissue injuries: Soft-tissue injuries–including sprains, strains, and tears of muscles, tendons, and ligaments–can arise from falls, vehicle and forklift accidents, or crush accidents.
- Repetitive stress injuries: These injuries occur when factory workers perform the same physical movement numerous times during a shift and develop gradually.
- Back and spinal cord injuries: Back injuries include soft-tissue injuries to the muscles and other tissues of the back. Spinal cord injuries can arise from damage to nerve tissue or from swelling or compression caused by damage to spinal discs.
- Amputations: Factory workers can suffer amputations when an arm or leg gets caught in equipment or machinery, or when limbs are damaged in crush accidents.
- Burns: Workers can suffer burns from explosions and fires, electrical shocks, or from exposure to caustic chemicals or other substances.
- Occupational diseases: Factory workers can develop occupational diseases from exposure to hazardous, toxic, or radioactive materials.
- Respiratory diseases: Respiratory diseases can develop due to exposure to toxic fumes or hazardous materials such as asbestos that can scar the lungs and lead to respiratory disease.
- Hearing loss: Long-term exposure to loud machinery and equipment can cause factory workers to suffer hearing loss, especially when workers are not provided proper hearing protection.
- Vision loss: Workers can suffer vision loss after suffering eye injuries in an accident or following long-term exposure to hazardous substances that can damage the eye or optical nerves.
Common Reasons for Factory Workers’ Injuries
Even with safety procedures in place, factories can be a dangerous space for factory workers. Below are some of the reasons for factory worker injuries our South Carolina factory injury lawyers commonly see.
Factory machinery and equipment often has many moving parts that are sharp. Equipment and machinery can be dangerous if factory workers are not properly trained in the use of the equipment and machinery and in the proper safety procedures to follow. Equipment and machinery that is defectively designed or manufactured also may cause an injury. A piece of unsafe equipment that causes an injury as a result of a design defect may be the basis of a lawsuit after a factory worker injury.
Forklifts are used in many factories to move materials. Forklift accidents cause injuries to more than 20,000 workers a year in a wide range of work sites, according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. Forklift operators are required to have the training to operate the vehicles. Those who drive too fast may be unable to avoid hitting a factory worker who steps suddenly in their path. Forklift accidents are a risk, especially when factories allow workers to operate forklifts without the required training. The operators of forklifts can be injured in a collision or tip-over accident when they fail to use seatbelts and other safety equipment on the forklift.
Slip/trip and fall accidents
Slip/trip and fall accidents can happen at factories for many reasons. Machinery or equipment may leak fluids. Stored fluid containers can be knocked over and spilled. Water or snow can be tracked in from the outside and create slick floors. Boxes can be left in hallways and other pathways in the factory. A factory worker who isn’t suspecting that there is a slip or trip hazard can easily suffer a serious accident.
Factory workers are often required to lift and carry heavy objects, equipment, and materials, which can cause stress injuries. Workers can be injured in a crush accident when heavy objects or equipment fall on them.
Many tasks in a factory require a worker to make the same physical motions hundreds or thousands of times over the course of a workweek. This type of work leaves the factory worker at risk of repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Repetitive stress injuries develop gradually, but they can be debilitating and require surgery.
Some factory workers are exposed to hazardous and toxic substances in the course of their work, including chemicals, fumes, or dangerous materials such as asbestos, dust, or radioactive materials. These materials and substances can cause a worker to suffer a life-threatening occupational disease. Unfortunately, some diseases and illnesses develop many years after the worker’s exposure to hazardous substances or materials, making it harder to identify the cause. For example, cancer-related to workplace asbestos exposure typically develops 20 to 30 years after the exposure.
Explosions and fires
When workplace safety protocols are ignored, factories that have combustible materials on site are more likely to have fires and explosions. Workers caught in explosions and fires can suffer life-threatening burns and permanent disfigurement. Workers who have severe burns may require skin grafts and cosmetic surgery.
Pursuing Full Compensation for Factory Injuries
If you or a loved one has been injured in a factory accident, you may have options available to you for seeking compensation for your injuries.
When you are an employee at a factory and suffer an injury on the job or develop an occupational illness, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. South Carolina requires that most businesses maintain workers’ compensation insurance to provide medical care and other benefits to employees injured on the job.
What Workers’ compensation Benefits Payments Include?
- reasonable and necessary medical treatment
- partial wage replacement if you are out of work
- vocational rehabilitation if you cannot return to your old job due to your injuries
- death benefits when a factory worker suffers a fatal work injury or occupational illness
Workers’ compensation benefits are provided regardless of fault for the workplace injury.
Personal injury claim
If your factory injury was caused by the recklessness or intentional acts of someone other than your employer or a co-worker, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim against the person responsible for causing your injuries. For example, if your job duties include driving and you are involved in a car accident while on the job, you may have a personal injury claim against the motorist that caused the accident.
You generally cannot bring a personal injury claim against your employer, since workers’ compensation laws provide that workers’ compensation benefits are the sole remedy that an injured factory worker has. If you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits, your employer or its insurer may be entitled to be reimbursed for the benefits it has paid from any personal injury recovery against a third-party.
Products liability claim
If you are injured by factory equipment or machinery that was defectively designed or manufactured, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit claim against the manufacturer of the unsafe equipment or machine.
Contact a South Carolina Factory Injury Lawyer
If you are a factory worker who has been injured on the job in Charleston, Columbia, Myrtle Beach, Clinton, or elsewhere in South Carolina, contact the factory injury attorneys of Joye Law Firm today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case. Our attorneys have extensive experience representing injured factory workers. We will explain your legal rights as injured workers and options for seeking compensation for your injuries.
We understand that you are going through one of the most difficult times in your life. Our goal is to help you seek the full compensation available after a factory injury and move forward with your life.