It’s a little more than an hour’s drive northeast of Columbus before you arrive in Valley City, Ohio. The unincorporated town is known for its frog jumping contest and its annual street fair. Valley City also has some industry, including a metal stamping plant.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says a 55-year-old worker there had their left index finger crushed between weld clamps. The worker’s finger had to be amputated, according to the OSHA report.
Investigators went to the plant after the injury report was received and cited the company for a repeated violation of failing to install safety mechanisms on machinery. The firm was cited for a similar violation last year and twice back in 2012. This time, however, someone has sustained a serious, permanent injury that impacts not only how they can do their job, but will also have an undeniably detrimental effect on daily life.
OSHA has proposed a $70,000 fine for the company, which can appeal the finding.
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation says it “believes every employee injured at work should receive appropriate and coordinated care with a goal of returning to work and quality of life.” We don’t know how this injury will change this worker’s life, but we do know that some workers require surgeries, physical therapy, extensive rest, repeated doctor visits and hospitalizations before they are able to return to their job — assuming they can return to work.
When their claim for workers’ compensation benefits is then denied by an insurer or employer, insult is added to injury. That’s when it becomes so important to choose an experienced Columbus workers’ comp attorney who understands the appeals process, paperwork and complex bureaucracy.