ROBOT ACCIDENTS


Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyer Reviewing Cases for injured plaintiffs in Ohio and Nationwide
Nationwide Success

Protecting The Wrongfully Injured

The face of manufacturing has changed dramatically in recent years, with robot automation implemented in many industries to improve efficiency and cut costs. However, there are risks and safety hazards in the workplace when new automation programs are introduced, particularly when robots and workers are integrated into the same workplace.

Machines, robots and other automated manufacturing equipment can pose a serious safety risk at the workplace, especially when workers are not properly trained and do not understand the machine behavior.

Robots are programmable and most of their actions are dictated by human control, so any robotic injuries may be the result of a lack of training or other management shortfalls.

In short, employees should never be around machinery they don’t understand. Comprehensive training is critical for employees who work alongside machines, robots and other forms of automation.

When machine accidents and workplace injuries occur due to defective robot automation or negligent manufacturing workplace design, employers may be held liable in product liability and manufacturing injury lawsuits.

Joe Lyon is an experienced workplace injury attorney and product liability lawyer reviewing robot automation defects and manufacturing injury lawsuits. 


Robot Machinery & Automation Injury


Nearly every production and manufacturing assembly line in the U.S. now has some form of automation. The Robotic Industries Association estimates that in 2017 more than 250,000 robots had been installed in American workplaces, many with automated arms that can weld, paint or assemble parts.

Despite the injury risks that may be foreseeable, robotic systems in the workplace are more and more commonplace. Automatic machines may include:

  • Industrial robots: automatically controlled, programmable, multipurpose machine, with fixed in place or mobile for use in a variety of industrial automation applications.
  • Professional service robots: robot that performs tasks outside of industrial automation, like cleaning, delivery, firefighting or surgery. (Da Vinci Robotic System)
  • Collaborative robots: robots designed to interact and work with humans.

Automation Injury & Manufacturing Hazards


According to the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), many robot accidents occur during programming, program refinement, maintenance, repair, testing, setup, or adjustment. The safety agency describes the following potential hazards of working with robots:

  • Control errors: malfunctions within the control system, software, electromagnetic interference, and radio frequency interference. Such errors can create erratic behavior in a robot.
  • Unauthorized access: unauthorized entry into a safeguarded area by someone untrained in the automated hardware can easily cause serious injury.
  • Mechanical failures: the faulty or unexpected operation of a machine can be quite dangerous.
  • Environmental errors: sudden electrical interference can influence a robot’s performance. Power surges or power loss can lead to manufacturing injury lawsuits. Power sources that are disrupted may lead to malfunctions, and malfunctioning pneumatic, hydraulic or electrical power sources can disrupt electrical signals.
  • Improper installation: incorrect installation can result in safety hazards and endanger any worker in the workplace.
  • Human error: faulty programming, interfacing, maintenance, or unwanted activation may place workers in danger. Management has a duty to apply safe barriers like fixed guards, placards, stickers, and warnings. Worker procedure must be implemented and followed.
  • At least one worker should be maintaining emergency operational controls of robots at all times, with the ability to initiate a shutdown. Most automation injuries occur because workers or management misses or ignores procedure despite training or known safety precautions. It is also common for workers relying on machines to act complacent and inattentive.

Robot Automation & Manufacturing Injury Lawsuits


Training is the single best way to prevent machine injury. Robots are programmable and usually predictable. Employers must stress workplace training and procedure or may risk facing manufacturing injury lawsuits.

Guards should be in place at all times. To minimize the risk of robot injuries and machine incidents, NIOSH offers the following recommendations regarding the design of robotic systems, the training of workers, and their supervision:

  • Robotic System Design should include physical barriers that incorporate gates equipped with electrical interlocks so that operation of the robot stops when the gate is opened. Employers should provide barriers between robotic equipment and freestanding objects such as posts limiting robot arm movement. Employers should provide adequate clearance distances around all moving components of the robotic system, and adequate illumination in the control and operational areas of the robotic system.
  • Training should be provided to workers who will be programming, operating, or maintaining robots. Also, refresher courses should take place to discuss new technological developments should be provided so all workers are familiar with the robot and known hazards. Workers should operate robots at reduced speeds consistent with adequate worker response to avoid hazards during programming and be aware of all conceivable pinch points.
  • Supervisors should know that with time, experienced workers doing automated tasks may become complacent, overconfident, or inattentive to the hazards inherent in complex automated equipment. Close supervision of such operations is imperative.

All too often, employees use machinery they don’t understand or have not been trained to use. These are preventable accidents and worker injuries in almost every case, arising from known hazards:

photo of attorney Joe Lyon
A Voice for Those who have suffered 

Why are these cases important?

Serious injuries and accidents often result through no fault of the injured party, yet the injured victim suffers from life altering physical, mental and financial losses. Such economic and human losses can have devastating financial consequences on individuals and families if not properly compensated. Tort law allows those individuals to seek just legal recourse through personal injury lawsuits.

Give Yourself a Voice

icon-published

Get Justice

Gain Recovery

Generate Awareness

Questions about Industrial Accident Cases

What are the types of Industrial Accident Cases?

Equipment rollovers and falls are the main causes of injury and death in industry. For workers on foot, being struck by heavy equipment or trucks are major causes of death.

Vehicle and forklift overturns are a leading cause of injuries and fatalities. Each year in the United States, nearly 100 workers are killed and another 20,000 are seriously injured in forklift-related incidents.

Falls on the job are no less fatal. In the United States each year, over 500 workers die as a result of falls from elevations.

Other preventable events include the following:

What is an Arc Flash Injury?

Arc flash accidents are an electrical occurrence when an electrical current deviates from its designated path and travels to another conductor. If a worker is hit by an arc flash or is even near one, they are likely to suffer severe electrical injury.

Anything from dropping a tool to faulty wiring can cause an arc flash accident. Poorly maintained materials or electrical systems can lead to arc flash incidents. An electric shock, burns, fires and damage is likely following an arc flash. Employers are urged to protect workers from arc flash injury, with the following prevention methods:

  • De-energize electrical circuits while working
  • Use proper insulation and guarding
  • Provide workers with work barricades
  • Install adequate ground fault circuit interrupters
  • Provide workers with personal safety equipment
  • Place warning labels regarding arc flash hazards
Can product liability be included in industrial accident litigation?

Each year, industrial accidents generate millions in settlements and verdicts for victims. Product liability issues cannot be discounted. In many past incidents, industrial equipment has been found to be inherently flawed. If machinery is found to have a faulty design or missing safety components, victims and their attorneys can file suit against large industrial manufacturers.

The legal options will depend on what caused the industrial accident and injury. Industrial accident injuries are usually permanent and should be addressed by a lawyer qualified in complex personal injury matters. Mr. Lyon has successfully litigated numerous industrial injury cases and obtained settlements for workers, over and beyond their workers comp.

Why should I hire The Lyon Firm?

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Industrial Accident Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Industrial accident lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury.  Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results in personal injury,  automotive product liability, medical Negligence, construction accidents, and auto dealership negligence casesThe cases have involved successfully litigating against some of  the largest companies in the world.

Request A Free Consultation


 

    • Answer a few general questions.
    • A member of our legal team will review your case.
    • We will determine, together with you, what makes sense for the next step for you and your family to take.
powered by Typeform

© 2020 The Lyon Firm. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED