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OSHA fines factory owner $570,000 for amputation injury

In Dec. 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was called to the premises of a manufacturer of auto insulation in Ohio. OSHA investigators arrived at the factory to investigate a workplace accident that involved an amputation. The agency recently announced that the investigation had been concluded, and a fine of almost $570,000 was proposed.

OSHA says a 46-year-old employee was operating a shredding machine on that day and got his hand caught in the machine while guiding waste into it. This incident injured the worker's hand and wrist; in fact, a part of his forearm had to be amputated. Investigators identified five violations related to machine safety -- two of which were repeat violations, and three willful violations.

Reportedly, inspectors found unguarded operation points at machines in the factory. Furthermore, employees lacked training in the proper use of the safety devices meant to isolate energy to prevent accidental startups of machines. Workers were also exposed to struck-by hazards, and officials say these penalties follow similar violations for which the company was also cited in Feb. 2016.

After suffering an injury in a work-related accident, an Ohio worker can file a workers' compensation claim. However, claiming benefits for an amputation is entirely different and more complicated than most other claims that typically involve medical expenses and lost wages. With the guidance and support of an experienced workers' comp attorney, long-term financial assistance may be awarded, along with vocational rehabilitation to equip the victim with skills that might lead to a new career and the ability to continue providing care for his or her family.

Source: businessinsurance.com, "Manufacturer fined $570,000 after hand amputation", Gloria Gonzalez, May 8, 2017

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