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Workers' injuries: OSHA cites company after amputation injuries

Industrial workers across the country, including in Missouri, are often exposed to amputation hazards along with multiple other dangerous situations typical to manufacturing plants. Such facilities usually have various types of machines, equipment and conveyor belts that can cause devastating workers' injuries if they are left unguarded. A worker in another state lost three fingertips in a workplace accident in another state.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently announced the outcome of an investigation into that accident. The tips of three of the fingers of the worker were severed when he cleaned a machine to which power had not been isolated. Investigators determined that this was a problem prevalent at this company as the same hazard existed throughout. Machines must be fitted with lockout/tagout devices, and employees must be trained in the proper procedures for isolating energy when cleaning or repairing equipment.

During the investigation, other safety hazards were identified, including failure to practice safe confined space protocols and to install safeguarding on machines to prevent contact with moving parts. Also, the company failed to carry out periodic energy-control procedure inspections and establish procedures for summoning rescue services in the events of emergencies. Other hazards that existed at this facility included electrical, chemical and noise issues that were not addressed by the company.

Missouri workers who are exposed to multiple safety hazards at their places of work may be concerned about the financial consequences of workers' injuries. Fortunately, compensation is available in the form of workers' compensation benefits. Claims may be filed for compensation to cover medical expenses related to on-the-job injuries along with wage replacement if the injury caused absences from work.

Source: workerscompensation.com, "OSHA Finds Safety Failures Allowed Machine to Sever 30-Year-Old Worker's 3 Fingertips at Nature's Path Subsidiary in Wisconsin", May 18, 2016

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