Workplace Risks for Manufacturing Workers

August 17, 2015 | By Riddle & Brantley Accident Injury Lawyers
Workplace Risks for Manufacturing Workers

The assembly line in North Carolina factories can be a dangerous place. Although workers in different types of manufacturing environments perform different tasks, the risks they face are similar across the entire manufacturing sector. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has outlined these risks, including:

  • Exposure to chemicals and chemical products
  • Contact with special process machinery
  • Repetitive motion leading to accidental injuries or development of occupational diseases and injuries, for example, carpal tunnel
  • Bending, turning, reaching, lifting, walking, etc.
  • Dangerous structures (flooring, entrances, exits, fences, roofs, handrails, ceilings)

Accidents in Manufacturing Jobs

Working in the manufacturing industry carries the risk of serious injury, even when safety regulations are followed. Some of the most common types of injuries sustained by factory workers include:

  • Overexertion accidents: Accidents associated with the physical actions of pushing, pulling, lifting, turning, throwing, catching, bending, crawling, reaching, climbing, and other motions performed on the factory floor can lead to serious or debilitating injuries.
  • Equipment accidents: Specialized equipment used in manufacturing can be dangerous when the equipment malfunctions. Accidents can involve body parts being pulled into equipment, such as fingers, hands, arms, or legs, particularly if correct safety guards are not in place, or the worker has not been correctly trained on the proper use of machinery.
  • Transportation accidents: These accidents may include a collision between vehicles, between rail vehicles and other vehicles, derailments, falls from vehicles, pedestrian accidents involving work vehicles, roadway collisions, overturned equipment, trucks that jackknife or rollover, and similar types of risks. These accidents may also lead to claims against another party (third party) for injuries caused by that other party’s negligence. This claim would be a separate claim.
  • Exposure to harmful substances or environments: These may include electrical accidents, exposure to high-decibel noise, exposure to radiation, extremes in temperature, exposure to air and water pressure changes, exposure to toxic chemicals, solvents, paints, gases and other toxic chemicals.
  • Contact with objects and equipment: These include employees struck by non-transport vehicles, struck by rolling object or equipment, struck by falling objects, equipment, discharged or flying objects, or accidents involving a handheld object or equipment that breaks or malfunctions, or employees injured by slipping or swinging object in the hand of the worker or other worker.
  • Fires and explosions: These accidents may result from electrical, gas, and chemical explosions, structure fires, vehicles fires, dust explosions or machinery fires.
  • Falls, slips and trips: Many accidents are the result of workers slipping on spilled substances, wet or oily floors, on uneven walking surfaces, on stairs, over objects in walkways, and similar situations, as well as dangerous falls from collapsing structures or equipment, and falls to a lower level or due to poor lighting and uneven flooring.

Common Injuries in Manufacturing Jobs

Many types of physical injuries take place throughout the manufacturing industry. Our firm helps injured workers with these claims:

  • Injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints: Dislocations, torn cartilage, separated shoulder, herniated disc, torn muscles, sprains, hyperextensions, torn ligaments, twisted joints, twisted back, twisted ankle, strains, torn muscles, pulled muscles and tendons, rotator cuff strains, whiplash.
  • Injuries to bones, nerves and spinal cord: Fractures, pinched nerves, bruising to the spinal cord, severed or partially severed spinal cord, crushed limbs, amputations.
  • Head injuries: Skull fracture, crushed skull, subdural hematoma, traumatic brain injury, concussion.
  • Burns and corrosions: Heat burns, thermal burns, scalds, chemical burns, electrical burns, friction burns, sunburns, welder’s flash, internal burns (inhaling high temperature smoke, gases).
  • Wounds: Amputations, cuts, lacerations, puncture wounds.
  • Heat/cold injuries: Frostbite, hypothermia, heatstroke, heat exhaustion.
  • Nervous system/sensory organ diseases: Carpal tunnel syndrome, tarsal tunnel syndrome, hearing loss, migraines, vision loss, and numbness.
  • Circulatory system diseases: Heart attack, stroke, angina, vascular disease, circulatory disorders.
  • Other injuries: Asphyxiation, strangulation, suffocation, drowning, electrocution, electrical shocks, acute dermatitis, acute irritant dermatitis, asphyxia from inhalation of toxic chemicals, fumes, gases, radiation sickness, poisoning.

How Riddle & Brantley Can Help

You have a right to a safe workplace. Both state and federal law require employers to keep their workers safe from harm, and in an environment that will not pose an unreasonable danger to the health and wellbeing of employees. If employers ignore Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and you have been injured on the job, Riddle & Brantley can help. Our North Carolina workers' compensation lawyers are available and would be happy to assist.

As an experienced workers’ compensation law firm in North Carolina, you can expect caring client service and care from the lawyers and staff at the firm. We are aggressive advocates for injured workers, and we have recovered millions in damages for our clients during our years in practice.

We have the highest possible peer review ratings, AV Preeminent® from Martindale-Hubbell®, and one of our firm’s partners, Chris Brantley, is a State Bar Certified Specialist in workers’ compensation law. Attorney Adam Smith is also certified as a Specialist in workers’ compensation. You can be confident that we will seek justice and full compensation for your work-related injuries.


  • Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Injury and Illness Classifications
  • OSHA: Eye and Face Protection