aerial view of a manufacturing plant floor | SC Workers' Compensation LawyerManufacturing is a major industry in Horry County, where there are more than 35 factories currently operating. Both Coastal Carolina University and Horry Georgetown Technical College offer advanced manufacturing programs that train workers specifically for manufacturing positions, which are safer today than they have been at any previous time in history. In addition to safety measures implemented by manufacturers, there is regulation by agencies like the South Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as well as at-risk inspections conducted by private companies to keep workplaces safe. Nonetheless, factory workers in Horry County suffer work-related injuries every day.

Common Manufacturing Accidents and Injuries

Injuries that occur regularly in manufacturing environments include:

Slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall

Fuel, oils, cleaning products, and other liquids used in manufacturing often spill on the floor, making it slippery and increasing the risk of a fall. Packing materials, tools, the factory’s products, and other items also might be left in an aisle or walkway where an employee can trip over them. Contusions, sprained joints, fractured bones, internal injuries, and head trauma can result.  

Equipment mishaps

Employees operating industrial machinery risk very serious injuries at work. Despite safety measures, hands, fingers, and arms sometimes get caught in conveyor belts or gears that cause lacerations, dislocations, and amputations.

Overexertion

Most factory jobs are physically demanding. Employees often stand for long periods, lift heavy objects, and operate heavy equipment that can cause musculoskeletal disorders and fatigue, leaving workers exhausted and prone to accidents.

Repetitive stress

Manufacturing work often involves making the same motions again and again, hour after hour, day after day, using the same muscle groups repeatedly, and remaining in the same position for hours at a time. This kind of repetitive motion can lead to disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome and soft tissue damage, as well as back and neck issues. The vibration of power tools and other machinery can aggravate these problems.

Impact from falling objects

Heavy objects or manufactured products can fall from a crane, slip off a conveyor belt, or drop from a higher level to a lower level in a factory. An employee who’s struck by a falling object can sustain broken bones, brain injury, lacerations, or be killed.

Noise level

The sound of many machines running in a closed area can create a level of noise that might damage an employee’s hearing over time.

Exposure to harmful fluids and vapors

Inhaling toxic vapors in a closed environment with limited ventilation can cause respiratory damage to workers. Chemical spills can result in burns, eye injuries, and skin diseases. Long-term exposure to harmful substances leads to cancer in some cases.

Burns

If flammable materials are used in the manufacturing process, there is always the risk of fire or explosions, which can cause serious burns, disfigurement, or death.

Vehicle accidents

Forklifts and other vehicles commonly used in factories sometimes collide with one another or with stationary machinery, causing broken bones, lacerations, spinal issues, or brain injuries. If a moving forklift strikes an employee, serious injury or death can result. 

If you’re injured due to one of the accidents described above or any other, you’re entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim. You don’t have to prove negligence on the part of your employer to collect benefits, and you cannot be fired for filing. If your claim is accepted, all your medical expenses will be paid, and you’ll receive two-thirds of your normal weekly salary until you’re cleared by your doctor to return to work. Vocational re-training and disability benefits are available in some cases.

How to File a Workers' Comp a Claim

As soon as possible after an accidental injury or as soon as your occupational illness is diagnosed, report your condition to your supervisor at work. Your employer should then file a claim for you with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (SCWCC). If this does not happen in a timely manner, you can file your own claim with a Form 50, which is available on the SCWCC website. Any delay in reporting or filing could hurt your claim, so don’t wait.

Once your claim is filed, see a doctor recommended by your employer’s insurer (not your own doctor). Follow that doctor’s advice and treatment guidelines. Keep your medical appointments and retain receipts and other documentation of your treatment. Also, try to keep a daily journal of your treatment and recovery process. If your employer denies your claim, fails to approve necessary treatment, tries to force you back to work too soon, or retaliates against you for filing, contact an experienced workers’ comp attorney immediately.

Have You Been Injured On The Job In Florence?

If you've been hurt at your job in or around Florence, South Carolina, you can speak with a workers' compensation lawyer. Please contact us online or call our Florence personal injury office directly at 843.488.7540 to schedule your consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our CharlestonConwayMyrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. PleasantNorth Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

Dirk J. Derrick
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South Carolina Lawyer Dirk Derrick helps victims recover from car accidents, personal injury & wrongful death.