Mechanical Components Most Likely to Cause Amputation
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Jeffrey Phillips with Phillips Law Group.
Amputation due to workplace injuries is a present danger in many workplaces that require the use of heavy equipment and machinery. While proper attention to and enforcement of safety protocols can help greatly mitigate the risk of amputation faced by workers in these environments, it is imperative to exercise extreme caution around any powerful machine. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), some mechanical components are more likely than others to cause injury or amputation. If you or a loved one were injured by a mechanical appointment at work, reach out to a workplace injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options for physical and financial recovery.
According to OSHA, the following components of a machine put workers at greater risk of amputation:
Point of operation: This is the part of the machine where the actual intended work is performed.
Power-transmission apparatuses: Belts, chains, couplings, flywheels, gears, spindles, and connecting rods are all components that move and transmit energy, making caught-in/between injuries more possible.
Other moving parts: Any part of a machine that moves during its operation is considered a moving part and could present a risk of injury.
Machines commonly responsible for amputations include:
- Power presses
- Printing presses
- Roll-forming and bending machines
- Food slicers
- Meat grinders
- Band saws
- Drill presses
- Milling machines
- Machinery with doors
- Trash compactors
- Hand and power tools
If you suffered a workplace amputation, workers’ compensation may provide an avenue for recovery.
Most employers offer workers’ compensation, a form of employee injury insurance that protects employers from liability and provides workers with temporary medical bills and help with lost wages. Depending on the injury, workers’ compensation benefits may be insufficient to pay for the total of the injured party’s damages. However, it is generally recommended to file for workers’ compensation benefits right away so the injured party can begin receiving financial aid immediately.
In most cases, an employee receiving workers’ compensation benefits is not eligible to sue their employer, unless the employer does not offer workers’ compensation or gross negligence caused or contributed to the injury.
Employers are required by law to manage amputation hazards.
According to OSHA, employers are required to identify and address any potential injury hazard to employees, including amputation hazards. Providing physical guards or barriers and even additional safety devices can help distance workers from dangerous machinery and prevent potential injury. If an employer failed to notice or address the risks posed by machinery which then caused an amputation or injury, the employer could be liable.
Whenever an injury occurs due to negligence on the part of the employer or a third party, the injured worker may be eligible to file a personal injury claim in addition to receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Damages that may be compensated in a personal injury claim tend to be more encompassing, and may include past and future medical bills, lost wages, impairment of earning capacity, and more. In some cases, vocational rehabilitation may be necessary for an amputee to return to work; when this is the case, the cost of rehabilitation may also be included in a successful personal injury claim.
To learn more about workplace amputations or for help filing a claim, reach out to a workplace injury attorney.