Engineering can be a rewarding and well-paying job. While many people would consider factory work, construction, law enforcement, and firefighting as dangerous professions, few would include engineering in this category. Yet, many engineers face hazards that could result in their serious injury or death while in their office, on work sites, traveling between their office and job sites, and conducting their research and design duties. Like workers injured in other industries, engineers may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under New Jersey’s workers’ compensation laws while they are off work healing from their injuries.
Dangerous Engineering Jobs
There are many types of engineers who work in a wide variety of industries, each with its own set of occupational hazards. Some jobs where engineers face dangers include:
- Chemical engineers. Chemical engineers spend much of their time in labs where they are exposed to toxic, flammable, and otherwise hazardous chemicals and materials.
- Automotive engineers. While automotive engineers spend some time at their office, they also must travel to performance facilities and factories where they are around heavy machinery and behind the wheel of vehicles they are working on.
- Construction engineers. Construction engineers must spend time on the construction site and face many of the same dangers as construction workers, such as falling from heights, being struck by heavy objects, or being caught in machinery. In addition, they must travel between their office and these construction sites.
- Electrical engineers. Electrical engineers work with electricity and must travel to high-risk, high-voltage work sites that are often near busy roads or in more isolated, natural settings.
- Mining engineers. Mining engineers are responsible for ensuring that the mine is built safely and must solve complex engineering problems that arise on the job site. This can require them to spend time underground in the mine where they face similar dangers of injury or death as miners do.
- Aerospace engineers. These engineers work with large, dangerous pieces of machinery when they build and maintain airplanes.
Common Engineer Workplace Accidents
Engineers face many potentially dangerous situations while doing their jobs where they risk being injured or killed. Some of the accidents that cause them to file workers’ compensation claims include:
- Car accidents. Many engineers must spend some time on the road travelling between their office and other job sites, like construction sites and factories, to conduct testing and handle problems. This increases their risk of being injured or killed in a car accident caused by a negligent driver while in transit or at their destination.
- Falls from heights. Engineers working at construction sites, in factories, and while resolving electrical issues often must work from heights. They can suffer catastrophic injuries like traumatic brain injury, spinal and back injuries, paralysis, and death if they fall—even more likely if they are not provided with fall protection.
- Slip and fall accidents. Slip and fall accidents can happen at the office or off site for a multitude of reasons, like when parking lots are not maintained, flooring is cracked, ripped, or torn, and spills and debris are not cleaned up.
- Chemical exposure. Chemical engineers and other engineers who work with chemicals and other hazardous substances can suffer chemical burns, respiratory illnesses, and other injuries as a result of exposure to these dangerous materials. Long-term exposure to these toxic substances could result in the development of an occupational illness, such as cancer or a respiratory illness.
- Fires and explosions. Toxic, flammable chemicals and materials found in chemistry labs, manufacturing plants, and construction sites can explode or cause a fire, endangering engineers and other workers.
- Falling equipment. When engineers work around heavy equipment, tools, or materials, they are in danger of being hit by heavy objects, especially dangerous if they are also working from a height.
- Electrical accidents. Engineers working with or around electricity can suffer electrical shocks, electrocution, and electrical burns if an accident happens.
- Repetitive motion injuries. Many engineers spend long hours working in offices at their computers and can suffer repetitive motion injuries, such as carpel tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, and shoulder, back, and spine injuries.
Unfortunately, engineers injured on the job must fight to obtain the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. If you are an engineer and need to file a workers’ comp claim, start an online chat or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with Manfred Ricciardelli.