Improper Equipment Moving Causes Loss of an Eye

A testing company supervisor asked two heavy equipment operators from a road construction company to help him move a several hundred pound piece of asphalt testing equipment on a job in eastern Oregon, near the town of Juntura. The workers suggested that heavy equipment be used to move the testing machine, a recommendation that the testing company supervisor rejected, apparently as he was in a rush to wrap up the job and go home. Instead, the supervisor had the workers help him move the machine by hand, without providing any safety equipment. When they got the machine to the trailer, the supervisor suddenly tipped the machine backwards, into the right eye of one of the heavy equipment operators. The impact ruptured the eye, resulting in a permanent loss of vision on the right side. The case involved the application of Oregon’s Employers Liability Law, and settled before trial for $600,000.