Workplace Amputation Claims
While many workplace accidents result in temporary injuries, some workplace accidents can result in permanently debilitating injuries that can affect the rest of the worker’s life. Indeed, some injuries are so serious that they cause permanent disabilities that impact an employee’s quality of life in significant ways. Amputation injuries are one type of injury that often falls into this category. Although injuries that result in temporary total and partial disabilities can be extremely painful and should certainly be compensated through the Florida workers’ compensation system whenever the employee is eligible, amputation injuries never heal.
What do Florida workers need to know about amputation injuries and workers’ compensation claims? Our experienced South Florida workers’ compensation attorneys have some information to help you.
Getting the Facts About Amputations in the Workplace
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), amputation injuries in the workplace are “widespread and involve a variety of activities and equipment.” Amputations do occur more often in some industries or types of jobs than others, however. An OSHA fact sheet emphasizes that “amputations occur most often when workers operated unguarded or inadequately safeguarded mechanical power presses, power press brakes, powered and non-powered conveyors, printing presses, roll-forming and rollbending machines, food slicers, meat grinders, meat-cutting saw bands, drill presses, and milling machines as well as shears, grinders, and slitters.” In addition, OSHA reports that amputations can happen when workers are operating forklifts, trash compactors, and various kinds of hand tools.
The following work precautions can be taken to help employees avoid amputation injuries on the job, according to OSHA:
- Machine guards that provide physical barriers to dangerous machine parts;
- Devices that prevent an employee from coming into contact with dangerous moving machine parts that are rotating, reciprocating, cutting, punching, or shearing; and
- Proper training that teaches employees how to safely use hazardous machines and tools in the workplace.
The following types of work tools are considered so dangerous by OSHA because of the risk for amputation injuries that employees under the age of 18 typically cannot operate them:
- Band saws;
- Circular saws;
- Guillotine shears;
- Punching machines;
- Shearing machines;
- Meatpacking machines;
- Paper product machines;
- Woodworking machines;
- Metal-forming machines; and
- Meat slicers.
Permanent Disability Benefits for Amputation Injuries on the Job
In addition to regular workers’ compensation benefits that include medical coverage and lost wages, employees who sustain amputation injuries on the job can be eligible to obtain permanent disability benefits. Under Florida workers’ compensation law, a person can obtain compensation for a permanent total disability in a variety of circumstances, including when the employee suffers the “amputation of an arm, a hand, a foot, or a leg involving the effective loss of use of that appendage.”
For amputations of fingers, toes, and other parts of the body, an injured employee should learn more about obtaining permanent impairment benefits through the Workers’ Compensation System.
Contact a Pompano Beach Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Were you seriously injured on the job and did you suffer an amputation? Our workers’ compensation lawyers in Pompano Beach can help you to seek financial compensation for your losses. Contact the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. today for more information.