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Over the last few years, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has become concerned about an increase in the number of accidents resulting in workers losing arms, legs, and other body parts to amputation in some industries, so they have embarked on a campaign to increase worker awareness and their safety in a number of hazardous industries, including sawmills, manufacturing plants, and even the oil and gas industry. They are closely monitoring workers in a number of areas to better determine which type of machine interaction is resulting in the most injuries.
More specifically, OSHA will be taking a look at whether or not machine guarding is in place, whether or not machines are locked out when they are not in use, and whether workers have developed safe habits when they engage in the practice of unblocking or clearing jams in large machines. This is no small problem; according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) more than 20,000 American workers suffer injuries involving amputation or limb loss every single year. In all, amputation injuries rank in the top three serious workplace injuries, according to OSHA.
The most common amputations that workers are forced to endure can include a finger, hand, wrist, arm, leg, foot, or toe. Sometimes the amputation is clean, and happens as a result of machine directly, but sometimes the amputation comes about after body part is crushed severely and must be amputated by a doctor. Most amputation accidents happen as a result of using heavy machinery, such as construction machinery, or through tools like table or chainsaws. Many, if not most, workplace accidents that result in amputations are usually avoidable if the employer has developed and implemented adequate safety procedures and put adequate warnings into place, and if workers were properly supervised.
In some cases, however, some of the machinery or equipment that is used in the workplace may be defective and not have been designed to operate safely, or the manufacturer may not have provided adequate instructions for the safe use of this equipment, which could mean the equipment manufacturer they also have been negligent in some way.
These types of injuries are usually devastating. Quite often, doctors find themselves unable to repair these injuries, which usually results in a permanent disability, but which can also result in a premature death. However, even for the workers who survive, the adjustment to life after amputation can feel overwhelming; not only are there obvious physical challenges that must be overcome, but there is also significant psychological damage to such an injury as well.
Workplace injury cases involving the amputation of a limb or other body part will usually involve a significant demand for compensation because of the seriousness of the injury and the high cost of recovery and rehabilitation. What this usually means is, the employer and their insurance company will have a lot to lose and they will be more likely to fight harder to minimize the potential payout to the injured worker. This is why anyone who is been injured on the job and has lost a body part or a limb should have an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on their side to help them get through the process
If you or someone you love has had to undergo an amputation because they were injured on the job, please contact the Houston workplace injury attorneys at Adame Garza LLP as soon as possible. Our attorneys can begin a complete investigation to find out all the facts, in order to get the most compensation possible for your devastating injury. Call us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.