Manufacturing jobs according to recent reports are coming back. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 12.8 million jobs in manufacturing nationwide as of August 2022.
These jobs include making cars, trucks, equipment, tools, furniture, consumer products, and many of the products businesses need and consumers enjoy. Common types of manufacturing work in North Carolina and Virginia include car, truck, motorcycle, and boat manufacturing.
Other manufacturing sectors include apparel, food, wood products, textile mills, paper, chemicals, petroleum and coal products, plastic and rubber products, computer and electrical products, transportation equipment, and electrical equipment. Manufacturing also includes steelwork, welding, tool and die operation, and other types of manufacturing.
What are the common types of manufacturing accidents?
Some of the types of manufacturing accidents that result in workers losing time from work include:
- Being struck by an object. Workers are at constant risk of being struck by forklifts, any type of moving machinery, and any type of heavy piece of machinery.
- Slip and falls. Production workers and other manufacturing workers can easily fall on wet surfaces, debris on the floor, uneven surfaces – or from ladders and stairs.
- Electrical accidents. Power equipment, power tools, loose wires, and any machines that use electricity can cause a worker to be electrocuted or to suffer a severe electric shock.
- Mechanical injuries. Workers can easily wrench their back or suffer injuries to their neck or shoulders when they lift, push, pull, or carry heavy items.
- Repetitive stress injuries. Many manufacturing jobs require using the same muscles and doing the same movements over and over again. These repetitions can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and other repetitive stress injuries.
- Overexertion. Many manufacturing accidents occur because employees work extremely long hours doing demanding work that places a lot of stress on the body. The wear and tear over the day and over years can lead to many different types of injuries. Additionally, fatigue can lead to mistakes while using tools and equipment. That being said, injuries due to wear and tear on the body from work overtime are typically NOT compensable under the workers compensation laws of either Virginia or North Carolina.
- Cuts and lacerations. Workers in North Carolina and Virginia who work in manufacturing are at constant risk of suffering deep cuts and punctures that can lead to infections, severed nerves, and cause other serious injuries.
- Amputations-heavy machinery which are missing proper guards can and do tragically cause the loss of fingers, hands, feet, arms, legs and toes.
- Exposures to chemicals. Manufacturing workers may develop skin disorders if their skin comes into contact with toxic chemicals and breathing disorders if they breathe in dangerous chemicals.
- Fires and explosions. These violent forces may occur while workers are working with flammable materials at the manufacturing site.
Other manufacturing accidents include forklift accidents and other types of vehicle accidents.
What are the common types of manufacturing workplace injuries?
Workers in manufacturing can suffer many different types of injuries that require time off to work to treat the injuries. Some of these injuries do cause permanent damage. Our North Carolina and Virginia workers’ compensation lawyer represent employees who suffer any type of manufacturing injury including:
- Nerve, muscle, ligament, and tissue damage
- Back, neck, and shoulder injuries
- Spinal cord damage including paralysis
- Third-degree burn injuries that often require skin grafts and plastic surgery
- Traumatic brain injuries, concussions, and head trauma
- Respiratory illnesses and lung disease
- Skin disorders
- Vision loss
- Loss of hearing
- Electrical injuries
- Traumatic amputation of an arm or leg
- Loss of a hand, foot, fingers, arms, or toes
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Hip and joint injuries
- Bowel and bladder disorders
What are the requirements for filing a workers’ compensation claim in North Carolina and Virginia?
In order to file a workers’ compensation claim due to a manufacturing accident, you need to show that:
- You were an employee when the accident occurred
- The accident occurred during work and in the scope of your employment
- In Virginia: The injury resulted from a risk unique to your employment (i.e. “arose out of” your employment)
- Your injuries are due to a single, traumatic event and did not occur over time.
At Joe Miller Law Ltd, we’re skilled at showing injured workers qualify for benefits. Don’t assume because your employer says you are an independent contractor that you’re not actually an employee. The employer doesn’t have the final say. We may be able to show you should be considered an employee.
There is no need to prove the employer was negligent or that the employer was at fault for the accident. In fact, even if you were careless, you can still file a workers’ compensation claim – provided you were not intoxicated at the time of the accident or that you didn’t intentionally violate a known safety rule. Although in North Carolina, you can still recover, but your recovery is diminished by 10%.
What benefits can I claim if I’m injured in a manufacturing accident or I suffer an occupational illness while performing manufacturing work?
If you qualify for workers’ compensation (we help you qualify), then we demand that your employer (or the employer’s insurance company) pays for:
- All your medical bills related to your work injuries, so that you can improve your health – and so that you can stabilize your health once your condition has improved as much as possible.
- Temporary total disability benefits. These benefits are normally about 2/3rds of your wages while you are unable to perform your job and seeking medical care. These benefits can potentially last for up to 500 weeks.
- Temporary partial disability benefits. If you are able to return to some form of work, albeit at a lesser rate of pay due to your physical restrictions set by your doctor, you may be entitled to 2/3rds of the difference between your pre-injury average weekly wage and your new, lower average weekly wage. This can be paid out for up to 500 weeks, when combined with any other payments such as temporary total and/or permanent partial disability benefits.
- Permanent partial disability benefits. Once you reach the point of maximum medical improvement (the point when no additional medical care will improve your health), an evaluation is usually made to determine whether you have a permanent partial disability and the seriousness (impairment level) of that disability. If your permanent partial disability is proven, you should receive additional pay for a specific number of weeks – at the 2/3rds wage compensation rate, even if you have returned to full duty at work.
You may also be entitled to vocational rehabilitation to train or educate you so you work in a different type of job – because your injuries prevent you from working in your current job.
At Joe Miller Law Ltd., our North Carolina and Virginia workers’ compensation lawyer has been a strong advocate for work injury victims for more than 30 years. We are skilled at showing workers qualify for benefits and obtaining the full benefits they deserve. We anticipate the arguments insurance companies make to try to deny or reduce your claim. To assert your workers’ compensation rights after any type of manufacturing accident, call attorney Joe Miller, Esq., at 888-667-8295 or fill out my online contact form to schedule a free consultation.
Our law firm is now using a remote service for injured and ill employees who prefer to speak to us from the comfort and safety of their homes. To use our remote services, please visit our New Electronic Case Review.