Punch presses are machines that shear, form and punch holes in a variety of materials. The significant danger associated with these machines deals with the amount of pressure they generate in order to punch through materials.
Most punch press injuries are the result of defective designs or defective manufacturing, failing to properly inspect before using, failing to properly maintain the press, failing to properly train employees, user error, failing to add proper warning labels.
Emphasizing the danger of these accidents, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration reports that approximately half of the punch press accidents that occur result in some sort of amputation injury. This statistic regarding amputations was so high that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration developed a National Emphasis Program to focus on this particular risk.
There are several common causes of punch press accidents, which include the following:
- Failure to supervise workers to make sure that safety guidelines are followed. Some punch press workers remove guarding mechanism because these safety mechanisms interfere with the work process. These mechanisms, however, are very important and prevent workers from getting injured by punch presses.
- Machines are not adequately maintained and inspected. Because punch presses contain many parts and have the potential to be deadly, defective pieces in a punch press have the potential to result in serious injuries and fatalities.
- The machine’s safety protection malfunctions. In recognition of the danger posed by punch presses, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires punch press machines to have two safety mechanisms. This requirement was made after a worker was killed while the punch press was being used to create a hole in the material.
- Workers are not adequately trained on how to use the punch press safely. It should be noted that punch presses are particularly complex machines with many complex parts including control panels, electronic switches, and hand or foot pedals. As a result, punch presses require a significant amount of training to understand and few workers are sufficiently trained on how to use these machines.
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There are several common injuries experienced by workers who operate punch presses including the following:
- Hand Amputations
- Finger Amputations
- Crushed Limbs
- Eye Injuries
- Loss of Vision
- Facial Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
Risk Reduction and Injury Prevention Tips
There are some important cautionary rules that individuals can follow to decrease the risk of being injured by a punch press, which include:
- Avoid sharp edges that could result in serious injury.
- Follow all important safety guidelines regarding how the punch press should be operated.
- Make sure that punch presses are kept in proper condition and well maintained.
- Provide adequate training about the punch press before allowing an employee to operate the machine. This training should include learning how to (1) operate all elements of a punch press, (2) maintain the punch press and (3) inspect the punch press for signs of defects or malfunctions.
Let Our Experienced, Workplace Injuries and Workers’ Compensation Claims Lawyers Fight for You
Our Boston workers’ compensation attorneys are able to secure the following benefits for injured workers and their families when workers sustain injuries for accidents that occur within the scope of the workers employment: Partial disability benefits, temporary total disability benefits, permanent and total disability benefits, death benefits, scarring and disfigurement benefits.
If you or a loved one is injured in a punch press accident, do not hesitate to contact a skilled Boston work injury lawyer. The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan are a group of Massachusetts work accident lawyers with over 35 years of legal experience. Our Work Injury attorneys represent the residents of Plymouth County including Brockton, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Marshfield, Hingham, Duxbury, Wareham, Abington, Rockland, Whitman, Hanson, Middleborough; Norfolk County including Quincy, Stoughton, Dedham, Weymouth, Braintree, Avon, Holbrook, Randolph, Canton, Sharon, Brookline, Franklin; Bristol County including New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, Attleboro, Mansfield, Easton, Raynham, Norton; Cape Cod, Falmouth, Barnstable and the Greater Boston area including Cambridge, Lynn, Revere, Everett, Lawrence, Dorchester, Roxbury and Somerville.