Those of us who are happy and healthy take the use of arms, legs, and fingers for granted. We may temporarily lament a broken bone, but after a few weeks the use of our lost limb is returned to us. For many workers, however, the permanent loss of limb is a life-changing experience they must learn to cope with. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) rates amputation injuries as some of the most serious and debilitating nonfatal injuries that a worker may sustain. If you are an Atlanta worker that is a victim of a workplace accident that lead to an amputation injury, you may qualify for lifelong workers’ compensation benefits. Because of the complexities involved with amputation injuries, it is very important to speak to a workers’ compensation attorney to ensure you receive the maximum benefits available.
Common Causes and Hazards for Amputation InjuriesCertain workers are at much greater risk for amputation injuries, particularly those working in manufacturing or with heavy equipment. According to OSHA studies, amputations occur most frequently when workers are operating machinery such as mechanical power presses, powered and non-powered conveyors, food presses, milling machines, food slicers, meat grinders, and a number of other hazardous machines. Not only does normal operation present dangers, hazards for amputation are also present during set up, preparation, threading, adjustment, lubrication, and maintenance of machines. OSHA has set strict guidelines to prevent amputation injuries. Employers can help prevent amputation injuries through a combination of work practices, employee training, and administrative controls. Machine safeguarding is extremely important and includes items such as:
- Guards – Guards serve as physical barriers and should not obstruct the view of the machine operator.
- Devices – Devices may be used to stop a worker from coming into contact at the point of operation where the machine does its job. They may also prevent normal operation of the machine if a worker is in contact with the point of operation.