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Who is Responsible for Equipment Defects on a Work Site?


People who work in industries that use heavy machinery on a daily basis — construction, manufacturing, transportation, and more — are especially at risk for on-the-job injuries. One type of incident they are particularly vulnerable to is injuries that are caused by defective equipment.

In cases of dangerous equipment defects, liability is not always black and white. There are often multiple parties who could potentially be at fault for providing hazardous equipment to workers.

The Equipment Designer

In some cases, a design flaw could be responsible for an issue with work equipment. Corporations who fail to complete proper safety testing procedures of their designs before beginning the manufacturing process put users at risk from the start.

The Company that Manufactured the Item

Even if a design is correct, work equipment may have been manufactured incorrectly. A flaw in the manufacturer’s own equipment, or negligence on the part of their workers, could be reasons why something is not produced in the way it was intended.

A Retailer or Rental Company

Sometimes, work equipment is in the care of a retailer or renter before it is transferred to users. Especially in the case of large items — such as vehicles or construction equipment — the responsibility on retailers is particularly significant. Companies that provide vehicles and construction equipment to other business are responsible for upholding the maintenance of that equipment, and a failure to do so could be detrimental to workers.


An employer could be liable for defective equipment on their own job site. In any work setting, employers have some level of responsibility to provide safe, functional equipment to their workers. The oversight of a negligent employer can lead to defective equipment used by employees, and as a result, on-the-job injuries.

Safety Inspectors

Certain industries (especially those that require the use of potentially hazardous tools) are subject to periodic inspections from upper management and government agencies. These groups are often the last line of defense between defective equipment and workers.

Determining liability in any work accident case can be complicated. If you were injured on the job, contact Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC. We are committed to helping injured employees recover the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve.

To schedule a free consultation with our lawyers, send us a message or call (843) 968-0886.

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