Lawyers for Industrial Accident Victims

The Horn Law Firm, P.C., lawyers who concentrate in claims for serious injury, have an extensive track record of success in representing people who have been injured in various types of work-related accidents, including those that happen in manufacturing facilities, plants, and factories.

If you or a family member has been injured on-the-job, the injured person is likely entitled to state worker compensation benefits. Additionally, injured workers may also have claims against other responsible parties. We encourage you to contact Lead Attorney Doug Horn as soon as practical after a work injury to consider all of your legal options.

Common Types of Industrial Accidents

Over the years, Horn Law has handled a variety of industrial accidents related to:

  • Injuries caused by unsafe, hazardous, or defective machinery or conditions
  • Accidents resulting from the fault of a contractor, supplier, or other responsible parties
  • Injuries to the head, neck, back, chest, mid-section, or extremities, including those resulting in burns, fractures, nerve damage, amputation, and disfigurement

Horn Law At Work

Right from the start, Horn Law will devote our full professional abilities, resources, and experience to obtain a maximum legal recovery. This work is complex, and at a minimum,  requires securing important evidence, litigation, and advanced settlement negotiations. Below are our areas of concentration with respect to industrial accident cases.

Falls: Falls are the most common industrial accident and the most common cause of death and injury among industrial and factory workers. While safety measures such as hard hats have reduced the damaging effects of falling in some cases, there is still a great danger posed to workers who are completing tasks at high elevations or on slick surfaces. Because of the heights involved in many falls, workers do not just face the risk of severe injury, but also face the risk of death.

Potential liabilities include:

  • Failure to provide proper equipment, including safety equipment
  • Failure to provide appropriate training and supervision
  • Failure to accurately assess risks
  • Failure to maintain lifts and other elevated surfaces
  • Failure to remedy potentially dangerous conditions

Machine Guarding AccidentsPoor or improperly installed machine guarding can lead to serious injury or death. Many high-powered industrial machines weigh several tons and can easily entangle fingers, hands, arms, legs, feet, or hair. Because heavy machinery generates such force and energy, many of these apparatuses have machine guards to help protect workers from moving parts, sparks, and ingoing nip points. When these guards fail or are improperly utilized, an industrial worker immediately faces danger. Guards can cause injury or death, first, when they are improperly used. Many of the guards in place over factory devices can be lifted or removed. If these guards are removed before shutting off a machine, uninstalled after a machine repair, or altered while a machine is at work, workers are exposed to hazards.

Potential liabilities include:

  • Failure to maintain guards
  • Failure to update defective guards or outdated technology
  • Failure to provide appropriate training
  • Failure to warn inspectors or maintenance crew of risk
  • Failure to lock out the machine when not in use
  • Failure to provide protective equipment

Toxic Chemical Exposure: Toxic chemical exposure is one of the leading causes of severe injury and death amongst industrial workers because it is not easy to spot until it is too late. Chemicals like ammonia, chlorine, and sulfur dioxide are highly dangerous yet can be a part of the outcome of the production process for many factories. Modern technology has made these and other chemicals much easier to monitor, yet they still pose a significant risk to those working around them. Chemical and drug manufacturing, metal fabrication, and petroleum processing make up more than 90% of all industrial waste in the United States and are highly-regulated processes. However, the guidelines and regulations set forth for the handling of these dangerous substances are not always followed correctly.

Potential liabilities include:

  • Failure to properly and compressively assess chemical risk
  • Failure to provide proper fumigation and output systems
  • Failure to train employees to identify any signs or symptoms of chemical exposure
  • Failure to provide personal protective equipment
  • Failure to maintain, inspect, and review operations protocol
  • Failure to remain updated on any new regulations or developments on chemical exposure

Vehicle Accidents: Forklifts, lift trucks, and other work vehicles are highly dangerous if not handled properly or inspected regularly. Like machines, these industrial trucks generate high amounts of force and energy, making them risky to those who operate them. Thorough training and regulation of such vehicles are necessary to ensure the viability of their operation. If corners are cut during the training or maintenance processes for these trucks, their operators are exposed to great danger.

Potential liabilities include:

  • Failure to appropriately train operators
  • Failure to update and repair trucks
  • Failure to provide specific truck safety training
  • Failure to abide by weight/capacity regulations
  • Failure to use a vehicle for intended purposes

Electrical Hazards: There is a myriad of safety issues surrounding the exposure to and use of electricity. Because its use is so commonplace in industrial environments, there are plenty of well-defined regulatory measures. These measures must be followed strictly, however, because death is certain with high-voltage operations. Unfortunately, many accidents can still occur despite the implementation of some safety measures. Exposed wires (especially near

areas of standing water), open electrical panels, faulty switches, and more can expose serious danger to even the safest of workers.

Potential liabilities include:

  • Failure to appropriately train electrical operators
  • Failure to provide a safe working environment for electricity
  • Failure to identify unique risks to wires, etc.
  • Failure to utilize correct lockout/tagout protocol.
  • Failure to repair or maintain wires, panels, and switches
  • Failure to comply with voltage or energy regulations

Lockout/Tagout Incidents: Electrical, mechanical, chemical, and hydraulic energy sources can be hazardous to workers in and of themselves. During the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment, the unexpected startup or release of stored energy can result in severe injury or death to workers. Ensuring that industrial workers are following proper startup and shutdown procedures can be essential, preventing serious injury and death. General procedural training and device-specific should be given to all operating workers.

Potential liabilities include:

  • Failure to provide training on a uniform lockout/tagout process
  • Failure to sufficiently inform employees of lockout importance
  • Failure to warn any repairmen or inspectors of any dangers
  • Failure to identify and alert managers of any machine issues related to lockout/tagout

Confined Spaces: Small, enclosed areas inherently represent a threat to the safety of industrial workers. In particular, such spaces can furnish very low levels of available oxygen, which can lead to suffocation. Because some of these tank-like spaces may also not provide any visual on a worker, it is necessary to follow and abide by a strict safety protocol thoroughly. If a worker is without oxygen for longer than a few seconds, asphyxiation and unconsciousness can pose a severe and even deadly risk. Further, such states also produce severe injury from falling, especially when working around hard metal and aluminum materials.

Potential liabilities include:

  • Failure to identify confined spaces and assess their risk
  • Failure to train employees on confined space procedures
  • Failure to alert inspectors/maintenance personnel that space is confined
  • Failure to implement a uniform, consistent emergency protocol for confined space risks

Uncontrolled Fires: Uncontrolled fires are a common form of industrial workplace accidents. Because many factories and industrial manufacturing facilities utilize gas and other flammable materials, an unchecked pipe or unreviewed safety measure could send the factory into flames if an accident were to occur. Moreover, combustion reactions are common for several factory processes. This paired with the immediate threat of flammable materials calls for extreme measures to be put in place. Even small fires can lead to damaging burns, loss of vision, lung damage, and other injuries.

Potential liabilities include:

  • Failure to identify fire risks and hazards
  • Failure to have an action plan for fire emergencies
  • Failure to provide upkeep to fire evacuation routes, signage, etc.
  • Failure to train employees properly
  • Failure to safely dispose of hazardous materials or secure gasoline tanks