Power tools include any tools that use an energy source that is electric, pneumatic, hydraulic, liquid fueled, or powder-actuated. Power tools also include portable abrasive wheels. These tools are invaluable to the workers using them but when they are used without the right training and safety precautions they can also cause serious injuries.
Each type of power tool has different risks and hazards associated with its use.
Electric Tools – the main hazard is the risk of electrical burns and shocks. Electrical burns travel through the body burning internal tissue and are very serious injuries. Shocks can lead to heart failure and even small shocks that occur at large heights can cause a worker to fall and suffer a serious or fatal injury.
Hydraulic Tools – such as jacks, are commonly used to lift heavy loads. Caught in/between accidents can result from jacks failing, causing workers to suffer crushing injuries.
Liquid Fuel Tools – chainsaws, brush cutters, and concrete saws are examples of tools powered by gasoline. Working with this type of power tool can produce fuel vapors that can catch fire and explode. Without proper ventilation the exhaust fumes can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
Pneumatic Tools – these include hammers, drills, chippers, and sanders, which can send out flying fragments or attachments, causing eye injuries as well as other injuries. Pneumatic tools are also very noisy, which over time can lead to occupational hearing loss.
Portable Abrasive Wheels – these are intended for grinding, cutting and polishing and can throw off flying fragments when in use. The wheel itself can also fly apart while in operation if it is in poor condition. Injuries to the eyes, face, and other parts of the body are most common.
Powder Actuated Tools – operation of Ramset guns, Hilti guns, and other power actuated tools is so dangerous that special training is required. Injuries from these tools can include hearing damage and ricochet, penetration, and explosion injuries. Finger and hand mutilation, sometimes requiring amputation, is not uncommon.
Most power tool accidents are easily prevented when the following guidelines are used in the workplace:
If you have been injured on the job using a power tool, you can be compensated for your injuries through Workers’ Compensation. A qualified Workers’ Compensation lawyer can help you determine if you are eligible for other sources of compensation as well. For instance, if the tool you were using when you were injured was defective, then you can receive damages from a third-party liability claim against the manufacturer of the defective tool.
A successful Workers’ Compensation claim can provide you with some or all of the following benefits:
Death benefits – are paid to the family of the fatally injured worker.
Medical benefits – your employer is required by law to compensate you for all costs associated with a work-related injury including hospital treatment, medications, and supplies.
Specific loss benefits – this is additional compensation available to those who suffer loss of a limb or other body part, or disfigurement to the head, face or neck.
Wage loss benefits – to compensate you for wages lost while you cannot work.
At Gross & Kenny, LLP, our practice is dedicated exclusively to helping injured workers. If you have been injured in a work-related power tool accident, our knowledgeable Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers will fight to make sure you receive the maximum allowable compensation for your case. Call 267-589-0090 today to schedule a free consultation or contact us online. From our Center City offices, we serve injured workers across the state of Pennsylvania.