The Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration track accidents that result from workers operating on-the-job machinery. As noted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s website, work-related injuries account for about 18,000 abrasions and lacerations each year.
Medical issues affecting employee injuries also occur as a result of environmental conditions. As noted by American Machinist, poor ventilation exposes workers to toxins. Dust in the air and carbon monoxide, for example, may lead to respiratory problems.
Injuries caused by machine operation
The most common machine shop injuries result from employees performing repetitive motions. Metalworking and machining tasks often involve repeated movements. Some machines also vibrate or require workers to operate them while standing in an unusual posture.
After working prolonged shifts, employees could develop repetitive stress injuries. A worker may, for example, place excessive and continual strain on his or her back and shoulder muscles. A painful repetitive strain injury could result. Ignoring it could also cause psychological stress or cumulative trauma disorder.
Power tool injuries
Many machine shop and assembly operations require using powered hand tools. Repeated use of these tools may strain an employee’s muscles and tendons. Workers could also experience accidental cuts and lacerations. Some tools may cause small pieces of metal or sparks to fly.
As noted by Pro Tool Reviews, a high-powered grinder could make more than 10,000 revolutions per minute. A cutting wheel coming loose or breaking could cause the operator physical harm. Without adequate protective gear, employees risk injury to their eyes and face.
Accidents in machine shops or on assembly lines may require both medical treatment and time off for recovery. Affected employees may file for workers’ compensation and receive benefits even if improperly handled tools or equipment caused their injuries.