According to recent data supplied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are close to 1.5 million workers employed in fabricated metal product manufacturing in the United States. This industry’s main work transforms and treats metal parts through assembling, bending, cutting, stamping, forging, forming, and welding. There are subsectors of this manufacturing category, including machine shops, hardware, hand tools, cutlery, spring and wire products, and boiler, tank, and shipping containers.
Transforming metal presents certain risks for workers, who should understand the hazards and ensure compliance with safety regulations.
Second Largest Industry in PA
Fabricated metal product manufacturing has been named the second largest industry in Pennsylvania. Most of the companies are located in eastern Pennsylvania, and they are a major contributor to the state economy. The main types of workers are machinists, cutters, brazers, solderers, welders, press machine setters, and supervisors. There are currently around 42,000 manufacturers in the state, and continued growth is expected due to increased demands for energy and natural gas. This may very well lead to more jobs in this sector.
This expansion makes the need for better safety practices in the field more important than ever. Before these employees even begin working, they should be adequately trained and prepared. Only workers who are properly trained on using the machinery and tools should be permitted to use them. Employers also need to give their workers the right kind of protective equipment, including gloves, respirators and goggles.
Special care is needed when working with electrical equipment because of the risk of electrocution. Again, this is where proper training is essential. Understanding the safety rules for extension cords, grounding, and wiring can prevent serious work accidents. Safety guarding procedures must also be followed. This is done by limiting employee access to areas near hazardous equipment; these are also used with power tools and heavy machinery. The use of barriers, signs, and guardrails can keep untrained employees away from these dangers.
Metal Fabrication Injuries and Illnesses
Fabrication shop injuries can range from basic tendonitis to a traumatic brain injury. Workers can also suffer broken bones, serious burns, and even amputations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also analyzed work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths for this industry and found that in 2017, there were 50 fatalities. In that same year, for every 100 full-time employees, there were 4.1 recordable cases of illness and injury. About half of these required missed work days, transfers, or restricted job duties.
Many workers at these job sites deal with toxic materials like formaldehyde, lead, and asbestos. They may also be exposed to radiation. If handled improperly, this could lead to occupational cancers, burns, and breathing problems.
Metal fabrication workers that experience work-related issues like these may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can help pay for lost wages and medical costs. Some workers have to be retrained for other occupations if they are disabled from a work injury, and this may be covered as well.
Delaware County Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Help Injured Fabricated Metal Workers
If you were injured while working with fabricated metals, contact a qualified Delaware County workers’ compensation lawyer at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. for a free case evaluation. You can reach us by calling 888-999-1962, or by completing an online contact form. We represent clients in Pennsylvania, and have offices in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina.