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OSHA identifies willful exposure to amputation injuries

One of the most important safety precautions to prevent severe injuries in industrial facilities is the device used to prevent the unintentional activation of machines. Unguarded machines have caused many Ohio workers to suffer life-altering amputation injuries. The fact that some company owners allow the deactivation of vital safety devices to speed up production is unacceptable.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently reported that a business that manufactures thermoplastic liners for trucks and trailers willfully exposed employees to the dangerous working parts of machines. Investigators found that, although equipment was fitted with lockout/tagout devices, the employer ordered the devices to be disabled. Rather than preventing workers from suffering amputation injuries, the business owner wanted to speed up production in order to make higher profits.

An OSHA spokesperson says this is a common safety violation, and while company owners benefit financially, the lives of many workers are ruined by amputation injuries. Other safety violations that were identified during this investigation included the presence of in-service defective forklifts and open electrical connections. OSHA says another facility owned by the same company received citations for safety violations related to machine guarding in 2015.

Amputation injuries typically jeopardize the abilities of victims to continue working in their chosen occupations. Along with that concern, mounting medical and rehabilitation bills can be overwhelming. Fortunately, the Ohio workers' compensation insurance program allows victims to file benefits claims to cover these expenses. Those whose injuries caused disabilities may receive vocational training to equip them with skills to pursue different jobs. A percentage of lost wages typically forms part of the benefits provided, and the help of experienced workers' compensation attorneys is available to assist with the filing of claims.

Source: workerscompensation.com, "OSHA Finds Ohio Company Disabled Safety Devices to Speed Production", Nov. 1, 2016

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