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Workplace injuries: Company cited after 2 amputations in 2 months

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently completed investigations concerning a company in Georgia that manufactures storage systems. Reportedly, this company's disregard of prescribed safety regulations resulted in two workers suffering workplace injuries that each led to amputations in a matter of two months. OSHA discovered numerous other violations that threaten the safety of workers on a daily basis.

In Nov. 2014, an employee was busy stamping metal parts by using a power press. The working parts of machinery must always be fitted with safety guards to prevent situations in which the limbs or hands of workers are pulled into the equipment. OSHA found multiple machines without appropriate safety guards, and this violation allowed the worker's hand to get caught. The injuries he suffered were severe enough to cause the amputation of one of his fingers.

Barely two months later, another worker was knocked down by an unsecured metal rack that weighed more than 350 pounds. The fabricated structure toppled over unexpectedly, causing the worker's hand to be crushed. This man also had to have a finger amputated. An OSHA spokesperson said violations will not go unaddressed, particularly those that may cause permanent injuries.

Georgia workers who have suffered workplace injuries are entitled to pursue workers' compensation benefits to cover expenses related to resulting medical care. Those whose injuries are of a permanent nature may be awarded additional compensation, including vocational rehabilitation when appropriate. A percentage of lost wages will also form part of the worker's compensation.

Source: workerscompensation.com, "GA Storage System Manufacturer's Safety Failures Cause 2 Workers to Suffer Amputations in 2 Incidents in 3 Months", July 1, 2015

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