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Why do punch-press machines cause so many injuries?

On Behalf of | Oct 4, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

Punch presses are used to shape all kinds of materials for use, so they’re operated by workers in all kinds of different industries, especially manufacturing and construction – and they can be incredibly dangerous.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), roughly 49% of injuries caused by a mechanical press end up causing amputations.

Many hazards come into play in punch-press scenarios

Whether they’re mechanical or hydraulic-based, punch-press machines are responsible for a significant number of factory worker injuries for several reasons:

  • High speed and force: Punch-press machines are designed to rapidly and forcefully shape, cut or form materials like metal, plastic, or paper. The high speed and force involved in their operation make them inherently dangerous.
  • Operator error: Many injuries occur due to operator error, such as placing hands or body parts too close to the machine during operation, failing to follow safety procedures or not using personal protective equipment (PPE) correctly.
  • Lack of training: Inadequate training on how to operate these machines safely is one of the major causes of accidents. Workers may not fully understand the risks associated with the equipment or how to use their tools properly – or they may become complacent after some time in operation and inattentive.
  • Mechanical failures: Punch-press machines can experience mechanical failures, such as jamming or malfunctioning, which can lead to unexpected movements or objects being ejected from the machine. Poor maintenance can also contribute to this issue.
  • Lack of safeguards: In some cases, the machines may lack adequate safety features or safeguards, like emergency stop buttons or interlocking guards.
  • Repetitive motion injuries: The repetitive nature of the tasks performed with these machines can lead to stress injuries, including carpal or cubital tunnel syndromes.
  • Production pressure: Factory workers can face a lot of pressure to meet production quotas or deadlines, which can lead to rushing and overlooked safety precautions.

If you have been injured at work while operating a punch press, it really doesn’t matter how it happened. What matters is how you can recover from your injuries and how you can provide for your family. Workers’ compensation benefits can help. Learning more about the benefits that are available can make securing rightful compensation a less arduous task. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to start.