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Workplace injuries: Amputation of arm follows exposure to hazards

When workers are exposed to known hazards at their places of employment, the probability of personal injury is exceptionally high. Georgia employers who disregard worker safety will ultimately have to bear the consequences. In addition to losing profits due to workplace injuries, they will have to answer to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

One worker whose life will be forever changed lost his arm in a workplace accident at a lumber yard where moving machine parts were left unguarded. OSHA investigated the accident and determined that the company willfully neglected to protect more than 70 workers against the hazards of unprotected sprockets and chains. The injured worker's jacket sleeve apparently got caught in a conveyor belt's unprotected drive shaft, causing a catastrophic injury that resulted in the amputation of his arm.

OSHA reported that the company admitted to leaving the dangerous machine parts unguarded for a long time. Continual exposure to life-threatening and amputation hazards is unacceptable. OSHA asserted that this tragic accident indicates that the company has to pay urgent attention to addressing the safety hazards on its premises.

Georgia workers who have to deal with the amputation of a limb will have to face many hardships. In addition to ongoing medical treatment and the associated expenses, they will have to undergo occupational therapy to prepare them for different jobs, as they will likely be unable to return to their chosen occupations. However, with the assistance of benefits paid by the workers' compensation insurance fund, severely injured workers may be able to overcome these challenges. In addition to compensation for medical expenses and lost wages, provisions will be made for additional assistance to get victims of severe workplace injuries back on their feet. Some injured workers choose to retain the services of experienced workers' compensation attorneys to protect their rights.

Source: ohsonline.com, "Machine Guards May Have Prevented Arm Amputation", May 29, 2015

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