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OSHA says most traumatic amputations occur in manufacturing

Most Arizona residents who work in the state's manufacturing facilities understand the risks that go with their jobs. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, approximately 57 percent of the traumatic amputations that occurred in 2015 happened in manufacturing facilities. OSHA is now launching an initiative to enforce rules and regulations that should help prevent these injuries with a primary focus on four states in particular.

Arizona is not one of those states, but every manufacturing company could benefit from a refresher regarding equipment safety, training and any other processes that will help keep workers from losing limbs or appendages. In 2015, there were over 2,600 reported amputations around the United States. So far in 2016, a lack of machine guarding ranks number eight in violations found by OSHA.

As part of the new enforcement initiative, OSHA is encouraging anyone who sees hazards that put workers at risk for amputation to contact the agency. In the meantime, OSHA will be conducting inspections to determine whether companies are following proper policies and procedures. Some companies might be found deficient and made to correct problems, but even when a company is compliant, the potential for accidents remains.

In either case, workers who suffer traumatic amputations on-the-job are eligible for workers' compensation benefits. However, many are not aware that they could be entitled to benefits beyond the payment of medical expenses related to the injury and lost income. It could be beneficial to speak with an attorney in this field to help navigate the system -- which can be quite complex -- and seek the benefits needed to allow for both recovery and financial stability.

Source: ehstoday.com, "OSHA Focuses Enforcement on Amputation Hazards", Stefanie Valentic, Nov. 3, 2016

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