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Missouri company cited for 2 amputation workers' injuries

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires business owners to report amputation injuries within 24 hours. The agency reports that it received 88 reports of amputations in Missouri within the first year of the reporting program. It says workers' injuries of this type continue to form a significant part of the most frequently cited safety violations.

A company that markets specialty frozen foods was the subject of an investigation by OSHA after two amputation injuries in just over a month. Reportedly, a sanitation worker was cleaning a breading machine on Dec. 22, 2015, when he lost one finger and a part of another finger. Subsequently, an injured third finger had to be medically amputated.

The following month, a production worker lost the tip of his left middle finger when he tried to unclog a bagging machine on Jan. 23. Investigators determined that both these accidents could have been prevented by compliance with safety guard regulations. An OSHA official mentioned that the company's disregard for workers' safety is inexcusable, especially in light of the fact that the agency intervened after an inspection of machine guarding in 2013.

Workers' injuries that lead to amputations often result in the inability to continue specific occupations. Workers may have to undergo vocational rehabilitation to equip them with the skills to pursue new jobs. Fortunately, such rehabilitation may form part of the benefits offered by the Missouri workers' compensation insurance system. Injured workers may file claims for benefits with the insurance program. Typical compensation includes coverage of medical expenses and a portion of lost wages.

Source: powderbulksolids.com, "OSHA Fines Food Manufacturer $140K after Amputations", June 24, 2016

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