Many people spend their first day, or first few days on a new job in training. If the job is in manufacturing, the training will likely include instructions on how to use equipment that can often be dangerous if not operated properly.

That is not how a 21-year-old Ohio man spent his first day on the job, however. When a plastic molding machine jammed in his first hours at work, he tried to clear it. But the inexperienced, untrained worker was severely burned, losing four fingers on his right hand in a tragic work accident at an Elyria plant.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the employer for safety violations and proposed a fine of $171,270, but a person might well wonder how that will help the young man so badly injured.

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation will be a place for him to look for help. Workers who “suffer permanent damage to a body part as a result of a work-related injury” can be eligible for permanent benefits for their partial disability.

The BWC determines the amount of payments based on average statewide weekly wages. It then determines the initial award based on a recommendation from an independent medical examiner. The examination will help BWC determine the extent of the impairment the work injury caused.

After the bureau issues an order for payment to the injured worker, either the worker’s employer or the worker can object and appeal that decision. Obviously, because the impairment is permanent, it is very possible that the total award could be significant.

An injured worker with a permanent partial disability has a lifetime of issues involved in that ruling, including decreased earning power. With lifelong consequences at stake, an experienced Columbus workers’ compensation attorney can fight for your rights and interests in BWC hearings or appeals of decisions.