Do you work in manufacturing or in a factory and were hurt at work?
Our Atlanta injury lawyers can help secure your workers’ compensation.
Manufacturing is big business in the Peach State. From aerospace companies like Gulfstream and Lockheed Martin, to textile and furniture companies like Shaw and Mohawk, manufacturing jobs employ thousands of workers throughout the state of Georgia.
And while these important jobs help support many families and boost the Georgia economy, it comes at a steep cost — and workers are the ones who pay it.
Each day in Georgia, workers in the manufacturing and production industries are exposed to unsafe conditions. American factory workers are some of the most essential and hardest working people around, as their work includes the packaging and manufacturing of cars, food, clothing and other products we use on a daily basis.
Factory workers often use potentially dangerous tools like welders, metal presses and meat processors. Working each day around this kind of equipment means each worker must remain constantly vigilant about their environment. What’s more, manufacturing companies that are more interested in profit than their employee’s safety or well-being frequently push workers to go faster and take less breaks, resulting in higher rates of accident, injury and even death.
If you’ve been injured or a loved one was killed while on the job in Georgia, you may be wondering about your legal options and rights. Contact our Atlanta workers’ compensation law firm today to talk about your case and find out if you have a workers’ comp claim.
Don’t take your employer at their word if they say your workplace injury isn’t covered.
Contact us today for your free consultation.
What is manufacturing?
The term “manufacturing” is a general category of work that encompasses many different types of jobs. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):
The manufacturing division includes establishments engaged in the mechanical or chemical transformation of materials or substances into new products. These establishments are usually described as plants, factories, or mills and characteristically use power driven machines and materials handling equipment.
The following occupations and jobs are typically categorized by OSHA and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics in the manufacturing industry:
- Milk bottling and pasteurizing
- Apparel jobbing
- Publishing, printing
- Ready-mixed concrete production
- Leather converting
- Wood preserving, woodworkers
- Typesetting, engraving, plate printing, and preparing electrotyping and stereotype plates
- Electroplating, plating, metal heat treating, and polishing for the trade
- Lapidary work for the trade
- Fabricating signs and advertising displays
- Assemblers and fabricators
- Dental laboratory technicians
- Food processing
- Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers
- Machinists and tool and die
- Medical appliance technicians
- Metal and plastic machine workers
- Ophthalmic laboratory technicians
- Painting and coating workers
- Power plant operators
- Quality control
- Semiconductor processors
- Sewers and tailors
- Slaughterers and meat packers
- Stationary engineers and boiler operators
- Water and wastewater treatment
- Welders, cutters, solderers
Warehouse injury statistics for Georgia workers
Work-related fatalities in 2017 totaled 194 in Georgia, up from 171 the previous year. Nationwide, a total of 5,147 workers were killed while on the job in 2017.
Some of the most dangerous occupations workers in Georgia face include manufacturing, transportation and construction. According to the Bureau of Labor, 89 percent of the work-related fatalities in Georgia for 2017 were men, with transportation (such as big rigs) accounting for nearly half of those deaths. Besides tractor-trailer drivers, another dangerous industry is the specialty trade and subcontractor field, which saw 22 work-related deaths in 2017.
The most common types of work injuries that resulted in death in Georgia were:
- Transportation accidents (49)
- Violence/injuries by persons or animals (15)
- Falls, slips, trips (14)
- Contact with objects or equipment (13)
- Other workplace fatalities (8)
Some of the most at-risk employees are janitors, EMS responders, firefighters and workers in heavy manufacturing.
Common causes of industrial accidents
Assembly and production line workers, as well as machinists and welders, are still on the front line of traditional manufacturing jobs. But manufacturing is changing rapidly to include advanced technology such as 3D printing, collaborative robotics, water laser cutters and virtual augmented reality. These new technologies bring their own safety risks which old school workers must be aware of.
The most common causes of injuries for employees in the manufacturing field include:
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Crushing/caught between accidents
- Loss of fingers/hands
Safety in the factory: Rules, regulations & standards
OSHA came into existence by an act of Congress in 1970, and was created to help reduce worker injuries and deaths. This federal agency (and many other worker organizations) advocates for the use of appropriate gear and equipment to create a healthy and safe working environment for all employees.
For starters, OSHA requires manufacturing employers to give factory employees all the personal protective equipment (PPE) they could possibly need to stay safe on the job, including:
- Hard hats
- Breathing masks
- Eye shields/safety glasses
OSHA requires that safety gear is provided to the workers, that it properly fits the user, that it’s checked regularly for any issues, and that it’s kept clean. Employers must also provide adequate training on how to use the safety equipment.
Workers’ compensation for factory injuries
If you were injured or developed an illness while performing your job duties, you can seek workers’ compensation. In Georgia, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, so it’s different than a personal injury lawsuit. This means it doesn’t matter if the injuries were caused by you or due to negligence on the part of your employer — limited benefits are available to all injured workers.
Under Georgia’s workers’ compensation law, you only have 1 year from the date of the injury or illness diagnosis to file a Notice of Claim. That one-year term can be extended, depending on a variety of situations. However, it’s complications like this that make it immensely beneficial to have an attorney review your case and work on your behalf.
Did you know that workers’ compensation rules vary depending on the state where you were hurt? For more information on workplace injuries and other frequently asked questions about Georgia workers’ compensation and disability benefits, visit our FAQs page.
Our record of winning accident cases in Georgia speaks for itself:
We fight for factory workers & manufacturing employees across Georgia
No matter when, where, or how long you’ve worked in manufacturing, if you’ve been injured on the job then you should seek professional legal services by contacting the knowledgeable attorneys at Gerber & Holder Workers’ Compensation Attorneys.
Don’t wait to act because time is of the essence. Our attorneys will sit down with you to discuss your case and your options. We’ll fight for you from start to finish. Just take a look at our previous case results and client reviews, and you’ll know choosing us to represent you is the right move.