Nashville Construction Accident Lawyers Handling Work Tools Claims

Strong representation for the injured throughout Tennessee

Machinery, equipment, and tools are the lifeblood of most construction work. These items help workers build residences, aid workers in the creation and improvement of roads, assist industries in manufacturing products, and make installing plumbing and electricity easier and efficient. When they malfunction, or when someone uses a tool negligently, you can be seriously injured.

At the Rocky Law Firm, we represent workers and the injured – not the powerful. We’ve been fighting aggressively for nearly 20 years for construction workers and other injury victims. Our Nashville construction injury lawyers investigate all aspects of your claim, conduct extensive discovery, and argue for you with insurance adjustors, defense lawyers, and judges. We contest all efforts to force workers back to work before they’re able. We’re ready to help you get justice.

Common tools that cause injuries

There are hundreds of machines and tools that are used on construction sites, but some are more dangerous than others. A few examples include:

  • Table saws
  • Nail guns
  • Woodchippers
  • Air compressors
  • Power drills
  • Backhoes
  • Industrial presses

Often, smaller tools such as nail guns can be more dangerous than larger ones because people tend to be more careless with a hammer than they would be with a crane.

The truth is, though, that any tool is dangerous when it’s used incorrectly or with reckless regard.

Safety measures for construction tools

With all most work tools, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

  • Manufacturers should have operating instructions for each of their products. Good manufacturing guidelines should explain the dangers and limits of each of their products.
  • Construction supervisors and managers should review these instructions before allowing workers to use any machinery, equipment, or tools.
  • Before construction companies allow their workers to use any machinery item or tool, they should inspect the item to see if they are any visible flaws.
  • The area where the work will be done should be as clear as possible from interference and debris.
  • The power supply should be checked.
  • Workers should understand the safety features for each tool they use.

Dangers of hand tools

Hand tools are manually powered. Examples includes axes and wrenches. The main danger, according to the Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) are misuse and poor maintenance. For example,

  • Chisels shouldn’t be used as screwdrivers because the “tip of the chisel may break and fly off, hitting the user or other employees.”
  • Wooden handles on tools such as a hammer can crack or splinter causing the head to “fly off and strike the user or other employees.”
  • “If the jaws of a wrench are sprung, the wrench might slip.”

Scissors and knives should be kept sharp as dull tools are a danger. Steel and iron tools can create sparks with can ignite flammable substances. When working with knives and blades, the tools should be directed away from aisle areas and other employees.

Dangers of power tools

OSHA requires that workers who use power tools wear gloves and safety goggles. Power tools should have safety switches and guards. Power tools are normally categorized as “electric, pneumatic, liquid fuel, hydraulic, and powder-actuated.”

Common power tool safety precautions include:

  • Not carrying the tool by the hose or the cord
  • Don’t yank the cord/hose to remove it from a receptacle
  • Other workers should stay at a safe distance
  • Work should be secured with a vise or clamp so both hands are free to use the tool
  • Avoid the possibility of accidentally starting a power tool
  • Follow the changing and lubricating instructions
  • Don’t wear anything “loose,” like clothing or pieces of jewelry, which can get caught in moving parts

Types of cases injured workers can file

There are different types of claims that workers can file if they are injured while working:

Workers’ compensation

This remedy is for employees who are injured on the job. Independent contractors and people who use tools while away from work are required to file a personal injury claim. The main benefit of a workers’ compensation claim is that there is no requirement to prove fault. The worker doesn’t’ have to show that the supervisor allowed power tools to be used near water or that the company failed to give the workers googles, helmets, or other safety items.

If the employee was injured while using any machine, any piece of equipment, or any tool – the worker can file a Tennessee workers’ compensation claim. The benefits normally include payment of all reasonable medical bills. Workers are also generally entitled to 2/3 of their average weekly wages for the time they can’t work. Alternate compensation may be due if a worker is permanently and totally disabled – depending on the type of disability.

 

Products liability claims

The manufacturers of drills, hoes, mixers, saws, ladders, and any workplace product make good money from the sale of the products. They have a duty to make their products safe for the workers who use their products. Manufacturers are strictly liable if their product is defective and the defect causes death or injury. Strictly liable means the worker does not have to show the manufacturer was negligent. Experienced product liability attorneys work with product safety engineers to prove there was a defect. A machine, piece of equipment, or tool is defective if:

  • The design was faulty
  • The workmanship was poor
  • The instructions were inaccurate, incomplete, or unclear

Personal injury lawsuit

This claim usually can only be brought by non-employees. Employees generally are limited to filing a workers’ compensation case. Independent contractors can assert that a contractor or supervisor failed to take proper precautions to prevent a construction accident. In personal injury claims, the injured worker can demand pain and suffering damages, payment of all medical bills, and compensation for all lost earnings.

Wrongful death

The families of employees who die due to electrocution, a fall, or for any reason have the right to claim workers’ compensation death benefits. The families of anyone who would normally have the right to file a products liability claim or a personal injury claim have the right to file a wrongful death claim. In a wrongful death case, the survivors (typically a spouse and children) can demand payment for:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • The lost financial support the worker would have provided if the worker had lived
  • The value of the lost support, comfort, and services the loved one would have provided his/her spouse, children, and parents.
  • Other approved damages

Nashville construction injury lawyers fighting for you

Nashville Rocky McElhaney Law Firm represents injured construction workers throughout Tennessee. Our Gladiators in Suits are experienced at trying cases before judges and before juries. We understand how much construction workers put the lives and their bodies on the line each day. We appreciate how much they rely on a wide variety to hand and power tools to do their jobs. For help now, call our injury lawyers at 615-425-2500 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment in Nashville or Hendersonville.