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Important safety guidelines for workers near heavy machinery

Many workplaces in New York include machines of some type. Even small equipment has the potential to injure people, but heavy machinery often presents the greatest dangers of serious injury or death. Employers have a responsibility to evaluate hazards at work, take protective measures and train workers properly.

Most types of equipment include guard devices that prevent workers from touching moving parts or encountering flying debris and sparks. Employees need access to appropriate protective gear, and they need to always wear it when they are near heavy equipment.

Workers should have the ability to perform their tasks free of distractions. The safe operation of machines generally requires operators to focus. An interruption could cause an operator to make a mistake that results in an accident. Proper training provides the strongest foundation for the safe operation of equipment. An experienced operator should train new employees so that they have an opportunity to gain a full understanding of a machine's proper use.

Workplace hazards typically increase within loading zones. Machine malfunctions or improper use could cause a load to fall off of equipment. Warning signs could alert employees to the danger and help them remember to stand clear of the area.

When an accident happens, an injured employee may be able to receive medical care reimbursement and other benefits through workers' compensation. No negligence on the part of the employer needs to be proven for a person to collect benefits, but a workplace accident victim might want legal representation if safety violations were an issue. An attorney may support a person trying to report a workplace injury at a company that wants to discourage the use of benefits. With legal representation, a person might be able to file an insurance claim and overcome tactics meant to deny a claim. In some cases, an attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit.

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