People who work around heavy machinery in certain industries – like printing presses, conveyors, food presses, milling machines, food slicers, meat grinders, and other similar hazardous machines – are at high risk of workplace amputations. Those machines do not present the only workplace risk of amputations, either. Construction work is among the most dangerous jobs in the country, and it, too, carries the risk of on-the-job amputations. Federal government reports have referred to workplace amputations as “widespread.” They can occur not just during machinery operation, but also during set-up, cleaning, lubricating, adjusting, clearing jams, and maintenance.
While not all amputations are created equal – losing a joint on your pinkie finger is an amputation, just as is losing an arm or a leg – all amputations are traumatic injuries. Many amputations are life-altering. The federal government reports about two dozen fatal amputations and thousands of non-fatal workplace amputations every year. Federal statistics cite defective machinery and worker negligence as some of the main causes of workplace amputation injuries. Further, poorly or improperly maintained machinery, or even improperly manufactured machinery, can result in serious injuries to employees, including amputations. Inadequate training or supervision also increase the likelihood of severe accidental injuries. All of these elements – poor maintenance, insufficient training, and improper manufacturing of equipment, can factor into the amount an employee suffering an on-the-job amputation will receive in damages for a workers’ compensation claim.