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Permanent disability hazards identified at Ohio factory

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says thousands of workers nationwide, including in Ohio, are exposed to the hazards of working machine parts every day. If company owners fail to comply with safety regulations related to the dangers posed by unguarded machines, workers can suffer injuries that may lead to permanent disability. OSHA identified an Ohio company as one of those at which employees may be at risk of amputation injuries.

OSHA investigated the manufacturer of bolts and nuts for exposing its workers to amputation hazards. Investigators found a lack of clear safety protocols related to working equipment and machines. Machines were not fitted with safety guards to prevent workers from coming into contact with dangerous moving parts. Also, OSHA regulations require lockout/tagout procedures to be in place to ensure that machines are not accidentally activated while maintenance or cleaning activities are performed. Investigators found that such procedures were not in place.

An area director of OSHA said workers do quick fixes on machines even when those machines can accidentally be activated at any time because no preventions are in place. It is also not uncommon for employees to reach into machines to remove product jams without first deactivating them. Safety guards around exposed parts can prevent these actions and, also, amputation injuries. Employers must ensure that their workers are protected in all situations.

Any Ohio worker who has suffered a permanent disability as the result of an on-the-job injury will naturally have to adjust to new his or her physical limitations. Such an injury can jeopardize a person's ability to earn an income, and future medical treatment may be required. Although victims of amputation injuries can personally pursue benefits claims through the workers' compensation insurance system, some choose to utilize the guidance and support of experienced attorneys who can work toward obtaining the maximum amount of benefits.

Source: crainscleveland.com, "OSHA cites Berea manufacturer for alleged amputation risks", Rachel Abbey McCafferty, Jan. 25, 2016

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