The Risks of Working in Automotive Manufacturing — What Can Be Done to Prevent Accidents?

Workers in motor vehicle manufacturing experienced 6.3 non-fatal injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers back in 2018, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, aside from the statistics, realizing the reasons behind injury and just how dangerous the job can be is imperative in preventing accidents and injury. Whether you’ve just started a job within the industry or you’re considering it, here’s what you should know regarding the risks involved and how they can be reduced.

The Nature of the Job

While accidents and injury can result from falls and other typical workplace injury risks, many risks in the automotive manufacturing workplace are due to the nature of the job itself. For example, injury can stem from accidental causes like equipment malfunction, physical elements such as loud noises, and chemical risks, which may involve exposure to exhaust fumes or toxic materials. Additional risks may also come from physically getting hurt, resulting in ailments like strains/sprains that can come from overexertion as well, highlighting the high potential for injury within the industry. With researchers from the University of Chicago finding that an astounding 71% of all workers in automotive manufacturing have experienced an injury at one point in time, there’s no question that working in the field can be dangerous.

A Simple Solution?

In addition to the various risks that employees who work in automotive manufacturing face on a daily basis, the causes behind many general industrial accidents are also important to look at as well. In fact, 80 out of every 100 accidents that happen in the workplace are found to be due to improper precautionary measures, such as taking shortcuts or not following safety procedures. That said, proper training and simply following safety procedures (like those put in place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA) can go a long way in helping to prevent injury — or worse — from occurring on the job.

The Stark Reality

Unfortunately, death has been an unfortunate outcome in the past for many employees in this industry, and under certain circumstances, wrongful death lawsuits are often filed by loved ones to obtain some form of justice. Many times, this will result in a wrongful death settlement, or money that is paid to resolve a personal injury claim. No matter the cause, however, the loss of life can be extremely difficult for family members and fellow employees and can result in mental health struggles in addition to a potentially lengthy legal process. Such consequences and outcomes of risks and other causes of injury and death only further calls attention to the importance and major role that safety awareness and a positive safety culture can play.
While there are various risks related to the nature of the job itself, working in the automotive manufacturing industry doesn’t have to result in accidents or wrongful death. Through safety measures and awareness, however, many can prevent injury or death while on the job.

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