Losing a limb is one of the most traumatic injuries that a worker can face. The loss of a limb has longstanding consequences for a worker and typically requires a worker to constantly adjust their daily routines to accommodate their disability. Fortunately, workers who suffer the loss of a limb do not have to face their medical expenses alone. A workers' compensation attorney can help individuals obtain the compensation that they deserve, which can help pay for the medical care associated with recovering after an amputation.
Amputations most commonly occur in industrial or agricultural workplaces such as grain processing facilities. Workers in grain handling facilities often face severe personal injuries and amputations in grain bins equipped with sweep augers, which are large drills that move the grain to the center of a grain bin.
Improperly secured or de-energized sweep augers are responsible for a variety of amputations every year. Inspectors from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration are well aware of the dangers that sweep augers pose, which is why safety inspectors aggressively look for sweep auger dangers in grain processing facilities across the state.
One company was recently fined $84,000 in connection with several safety violations including hazardous grain sweep augers.
"Failing to de-energize and lock out sweep augers puts workers entering grain bins at an unnecessary risk for amputation injuries, engulfment and suffocation," an OSHA area director said.
OSHA has inspected that particular company's facilities more than 50 times since 1980 and issued more than 100 citations for safety violations. It is unclear how many workers have suffered serious workplace injuries in connection with the company's safety violations.
Source: OSHA, "US Labor Department's OSHA cites Illinois-based Growmark with 5 safety violations for failing to protect grain bin workers at Ixonia, Wis., facility," Region 5 News Release: 12-59-CHI, Jan. 24, 2012