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Understanding more about workplace amputations

Employees in North Carolina may benefit from learning more about recent updates the Occupational Safety Health Administration implemented on the Amputations National Emphasis Program. Some of the businesses identified by OSHA as having the highest rate of amputations included commercial and retail bakeries, meat processors, sawmills and machine shops. During 2013, employees working in the manufacturing industry suffered 2,000 amputations. In the manufacturing sector, the rate of amputations was more than twice as high as the private sector overall.

The new directives were designed to improve safety for employees, as well as to help remove hazards from the workplace. When the equipment or machinery is unguarded, employees risk being killed or suffering a permanent disability. The updates to the program applied to the workplace in the general sector, where equipment or machinery that can cause amputations is present. OSHA announced that it will perform inspections that evaluate how much employees are exposed to risks when cleaning, greasing machines, oiling and clearing jams.

There were 1.7 amputations for every 10,000 full-time employees working in the manufacturing sector. According to OSHA, the private sector only realizes 0.7 amputations per 10,000 full-time employees. Injury data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and current enforcement data from OSHA was utilized for site selection targeting when the updates were designed

Employees who have suffered an amputation or other serious injury caused by their work conditions might benefit from confiding in a lawyer. Legal counsel might be able to help ensure that employees receive the wage benefits and medical coverage provided by workers’ compensation laws. In some cases it may be possible to pursue a separate personal injury action against a non-employer third party as well.

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