Most accidents that result in amputation are preventable but when they happen are severe and often disabling. All it takes is a moment of inattention and you can get caught in machinery that amputates a limb. 5,260 nonfatal amputations were reported in the United States by private sector employers in 2010. The incidence rate that year was 6 per 100,000 full-time workers. Workers who have suffered in a workplace accident have the right to hire a workers compensation attorney or work injury lawyer to seek the compensation they are entitled to. A law firm located in St Louis or near you with expertise in workers’ compensation and work injury cases is what an employee needs to understand the legal process and receive the compensation they deserve.
The industries with the largest number of amputations included production, transportation and material moving, and construction and extraction. 96% of the amputations were a finger and it usually kept the employee off of work for 21 days or more. Therefore, machinery and material handling equipment must be inspected regularly and that the workers are properly trained to avoid accidents.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Lists 4 Potential Non-Fatal Amputation Exposures In this Order…
- Machinery and Equipment – Workers are caught in or crushed by running machinery or equipment.
- Parts or Materials – Workers are caught in, crushed by, or struck against parts and materials—for example, when a load shifts unexpectedly or stored materials collapse on a worker.
- Vehicles – Motor vehicle accidents are 3rd most reason for non-fatal amputations and the 1st of fatal amputations
- Hand Tools – Hand tools, such as handheld circular saws.
Keep an Eye Out for the following…
- Pinch Points – Where two parts move together and at least one of them is moving in a circle. Pinch points often occur along belt drives, chain drives, gear drives, and feeder rolls.
- Wrap Points – Where there is an exposed piece of rotating machinery, such as a rotating shaft, especially if it extends beyond bearings or sprockets. Because they can catch clothing or fingers more easily, shafts that are splined, square, or hexagonal are generally more dangerous.
- Shear Points – Where two moving parts move across each other or a single, sharp edge moves with enough speed or force to cut. Chain or paddle conveyors, trimmers, forklifts, and enclosed augers have shear points.
- Crush Points – Where two objects are moving toward each other, or one object is moving toward a stationary object. Gears are common crush points.
- Pull-in Points – Where objects can be pulled into equipment. Feeder rolls or grinders are common pull-in points.
- Thrown objects – Objects hurled by equipment with moving parts. Chippers are known to be common sources of thrown objects.
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