Workers’ compensation and amputation injuries

OSHA recently made changes to its amputation program in an effort to increase workplace safety.

Workers' compensation benefits are generally available to those who suffer a variety of on-the-job injuries, including amputations. Amputation injuries can range from the loss of a limb to the loss of a fingertip. These injuries can occur in a number of workplaces including construction sites, retail and commercial bakeries, sawmills, printing, and jobs within the auto industry.

A wide range of regulations are put in place by the United States Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to reduce the risk of these accidents. OSHA recently updated these regulations in an attempt to increase the safety of the workplace. Changes were specifically made to the National Emphasis Program on Amputations (NEP).

OSHA's efforts to decrease amputation injuries

NEP is a program that focuses specifically on workplaces with machinery and equipment that cause or could cause amputations as well as workplaces that have reported amputation accidents in the past. This program was put together in an effort to use the federal agency's inspection resources more efficiently by targeting high risk workplaces.

OSHA explained the changes made to NEP in a recent news release. Dr. David Michaels, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, stated that workers often suffer these injuries "from unguarded machinery and equipment." These injuries can result in permanent disability or the loss of lives and can easily be avoided with the implementation of basic safety precautions.

These precautions include removing the risk of exposure to unguarded or poorly guarded machinery and equipment during the workday. Such exposure can occur as a normal course of the workday as well as during servicing and maintenance of these machines. The directive calls for inspections that focus on dangers present while "clearing jams; cleaning, oiling or greasing machines or machine pans; and locking out machinery to prevent accidental start-up."

Remedies available to those who suffer on-the-job amputation injuries

On-the-job accidents can happen for many reasons. Whether the injury is a true accident or the result of an employer failing to follow OSHA regulations, compensation is generally available to help cover the costs associated with the accident through a workers' compensation claim. Benefits through the workers' compensation program are designed to cover lost wages and other costs associated with the injury.

It is wise for workers injured at work to contact an experienced workers' compensation lawyer. This legal professional can assist with uncooperative workers' compensation insurance carriers, working to better ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.