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Worksite Amputation Hazards

Moving machine parts constantly pose a serious amputation threat to workers on construction sites and elsewhere explain NYC work accident lawyers at the F&A injury law firm. For this reason, all workers must be trained to properly turn on and off all machines before working on them for any purpose. During 2015, workers suffered nearly 3,000 amputations while on the job. Furthermore, there were approximately 30 severe workplace injuries reported each day of that year.

Clearly, many more aggressive safety measures must be adopted and carefully enforced to fully protect people in the workplace. In addition to all their physical suffering caused by these accidents – injured workers also frequently lose their ability to keep working in their chosen field of expertise. Furthermore, many of them are never able to find gainful employment again.

What Are the Most Dangerous Industries?

The manufacturing industry is responsible for the largest number of severe accidents. Fifty-seven percent of all amputations can be attributed to it – along with 26% of all hospitalizations. Running a close second in regards to annual injuries are the construction, transportation, oil and gas, and warehousing industries.

In hopes of reducing all these serious threats to worker safety and steady employment, it’s important to review the specific types of actual workplace hazards that can result in amputations.

What Types of Machine Components Pose the Greatest Danger?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created a Fact Sheet that clearly describes the most dangerous interactions with machine components. Here’s an overview of some of them.

  • All work done on materials at the point of operation. When workers are manipulating key machine parts to create or alter goods – they’re most likely to be injured;
  • Using apparatuses needed to transmit power. Workers frequently suffer amputations and other serious injuries when handling pulleys, chains, flywheels, couplings, cams, gears, and spindles. It’s also easy to be harmed when moving some of the connecting rods to those parts while energy is being transmitted;
  • All other activities that require moving parts not already named above. These can include machine parts for rotating, reciprocating – or transversing moving objects.

The other most dangerous or potentially hazardous handling of machinery that can pinch a body part or otherwise maim an individual are set forth below.

Mechanical Motions That Can Severely Injure Workers – and Lead to Amputations

  • Cutting. Perhaps more workers are involved in this task each day than any other. Hands and fingers are fully at risk whenever someone is trying to drill, mill, slice, slit, bore, or saw product parts while creating or altering goods;
  • When it’s time to move parts in a circular motion, great care must be taken to protect yourself with proper machine guards and safety gear. Workers must avoid wearing loose clothing since it can cause them to get caught in machinery and then lose a limb or finger. Rotating couplings, flywheels, spindles, clutches and other machine parts may look simple – but great skill is required to handle such parts safely;
  • This activity requires careful movements while stamping materials;
  • When a worker has to move machinery up and down – (back and forth) or side to side – it’s far too easy to get trapped and injured in between machine parts;
  • This specific movement may seem simple – but it isn’t always easy to move objects in a straight line without striking other parts that can trap you between them and a fixed object;
  • When drawing or forming metal, power must be applied to the area with great care to avoid accidentally pinching or maiming a worker’s hands or other body parts;
  • Shearing motion. While trimming or shearing metal, workers must move powered slides with extreme care and caution.

Proper Safety Training Is Crucial

All workers must be provided with comprehensive safety training before being allowed to use any equipment on the job. Simply taking a job interviewee’s word that she/he has operated a certain type of machine before is never adequate. Also, refresher training courses – often supplemented with new skills – should be required at least once or twice a year.

OSHA Still Faces Many Challenges While Trying to Keep All Workers Safe

Even though OSHA conducts routine workplace inspections every year, it must rely on individual workers to report new safety concerns as soon as they notice them. Sadly, too many employers keep trying to hide reports that document amputations and other serious workplace injuries. In response to this unsafe practice, more costly penalties are now being assessed against these employers.

Conscientious employers are always encouraged to contact OSHA to request a voluntary, on-site consultation so that all workplace dangers can be properly noted and addressed. Everyone loses when skilled workers are seriously injured – especially when amputations cost them critical body parts.

If you’ve recently suffered serious workplace injuries like an amputation due to another party’s negligence, be sure to contact your New York personal injury attorney right away. We’ll research the facts of your case and file a lawsuit on your behalf if we believe we can obtain a large settlement or verdict that will fully compensate you for all your past and future losses.