Misuse of Tools Injuries and Accidents
Anthropologists are able to tell how advanced ancient cultures were by evaluating the sophistication of their tools. But some of the tools in today’s workplaces can be downright dangerous. Every day, more than 12 workers die on the job – many from the tools they’re using- from power tools to cranes. Whether or not you are covered by workers’ compensation, you may be able to file a suit against the manufacturer, distributor and seller of the product if the tool was defective. The tool may have been designed poorly or designed in a way that caused it to malfunction.
Massachusetts law has adopted the contributory negligence rule which means if you are partially at fault for the accident, your damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault that is assigned to you. If a court finds you were more than 50 percent responsible, even if only 51 percent, you will be completely precluded from collecting damages. So, if you do file suit, you need an experienced product defect attorney by your side who knows how to refute the following allegations that may be thrown your direction.
Misuse of Tools
Any use of a tool can cause a mishap ranging from cutting your finger to causing a permanent and life-changing injury. If the tool is misused, the amount of financial damages you can collect may be reduced. Misuse can take various forms including, but not limited to:
- Failure to use the tool according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
- Failure to follow safety regulations and requirements of the specific job. Even if the tool itself was used properly, it can amount to a misuse if used against regulations.
- Violating capacity limitations of large tools such as cranes and forklifts.
- Using a tool without adequate training or certification.
Injuries Caused by Malfunctioning Tools and Equipment
People expect the equipment they use to perform according to its purpose. When it malfunctions, injuries or death can occur. For example, scaffolding or platforms can collapse, ladder rungs break and levers get stuck on machines. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has identified what it refers as the fatal four, which are the four main causes of death to workers on construction sites, all of which can be attributable to malfunctioning equipment:
- Falls: Scaffolding collapses, ladder rungs break, and other such mishaps occur.
- Electrocutions: These can occur due to misuse or malfunctioning equipment.
- Being hit by a falling object: Forklifts drop their cargo on workers underneath them.
- Caught in-between: Examples are if a worker is near a wall when the lever of a fork-lift gets stuck. The fork-lift rams the worker, trapping the worker in-between the wall and the fork-lift. Or, an elevator breaks from its pulley and crashes down a few floors, trapping workers in-between the wall of the elevator and the elevator.
Worcester Product Liability Lawyer – Peter Ventura
If you were injured by a tool you believe malfunctioned or was defective, contact Peter Ventura, Attorney at Law. He offers a free consultation. His office is in Worcester, and he serves all those in neighboring counties.
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Image via Flickr by Devin Smith