Amputations are no joke; they happen suddenly and impact a worker for a long period of time. It takes months or years to relearn to use the body part if it can be reattached; if not, the person may need to have several surgeries and need to learn to use a prosthetic. The high impact of an amputation is why those who are hurt at work in this manner should seek out as much from workers’ compensation as they are entitled to. There may be other benefits they can claim as well.
An employer that willingly looks past safety requirements to get work done faster puts his or her workers at risk of injury. An amputation case in Wisconsin has led to a manufacturer facing serious penalties. According to a Dec. 12 report, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a commercial laundry equipment manufacturer because a worker suffered an amputation injury. This is the second time in two months that a worker had been injured due to a lack of sufficient machine guarding equipment.
The story reports that Alliance Laundry Systems now faces $124,709 in penalties along with a safety violation following OSHA’s inspection. The federal safety agency had been to the facility in July 2016 and asked that the company add guarding to the machinery. The company did not do so, allowing a hydraulic press to be used without the appropriate safety guarding. It now faces a willful safety violation for failing to listen to OSHA’s requirements.
Previously, a 26-year-old worker had his right index finger severed in June, and in August, a 51-year-old employee had his hand crushed, requiring amputation. Both of these serious injuries could have been avoided with just a single, simple change.
Source: Occupational Health and Safety, “Latest Amputation Brings Additional Penalties for Wisconsin Manufacturer,” Dec. 12, 2016