Bungee cords are made of elastic material with metal J-shaped or S-shaped hooks on each end. They’re used to tie down or secure equipment, restrain cargo, act as barriers, hold items in place, and can be conveniently locked or fastened to another structure.
Bungee cord use is particularly attractive since the hooks are versatile connectors that can be easily applied with one hand. The usefulness of bungee cords is well known, but their potential for injury is not.
One of the characteristics of a bungee cord is its stored energy which can be suddenly released. The heavy elastic cords from which bungees are made contain tremendous force when they recoil, particularly when they’re stretched beyond their recommended limits. This sudden release of stored energy results in a high speed flailing hazard when:
- The hook pulls out of the user’s hand as it’s being stretched into place
- The hook disengages from the attachment point
- The attachment structure fails
- The hook straightens out
- The cord breaks
- The hook detaches from the cord
In each of these situations, the free end of the bungee cord can recoil at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour and produce significant injury or damage upon impact. Given the hazards associated with these products, and the potential for severe eye and other impact injuries, it is incumbent upon manufacturers to properly and safely design, test and market their products. If you or a family member have suffered significant personal injuries result from the use of a defective bungee cord, contact the law office of Swartz & Swartz, P.C. Call (617) 742-1900 in the Boston area, or for clients in greater Massachusetts, New England, or other states across the U.S., call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.