Thousands of work-related amputations form part of workers’ compensation claims in Maryland and across the country. Safety authorities maintain that such injuries are preventable by compliance with prescribed safety standards. Too many workers have to rely on permanent disability benefits to take care of their families.
Compression injuries, typically caused by being caught in or between objects or struck-by incidents often lead to amputations of workers’ hands, fingers, feet and other body parts. Even an amputated finger could prevent the victim from returning to work in the same capacity. Unguarded or insufficiently guarded moving machine parts is one of the primary causes of amputation injuries.
Portable and table saws cause many such injuries, along with milling machines, power presses, printing presses, drill presses, slitters, shears, grinders and more. Meat grinders and food slicers pose similar hazards. Employers must protect the health and safety of workers by ensuring that the necessary barriers and guards are installed, along with lockout/tagout devices to prevent amputation injuries caused by accidental activation of equipment.
Maryland workers might find comfort in knowing that the workers’ compensation program of the state will likely cover their medical expenses and lost wages in the event of a work-related injury. The system might also provide additional permanent disability benefits if necessary. However, if the injury resulted from the gross negligence of an employer, or a malfunctioning machine, the injured worker might have grounds to pursue additional damage recovery through the Maryland civil justice system by filing a third-party claim. An attorney with experience in both personal injury and workers’ compensation fields of the law can provide valuable support and guidance throughout ensuing legal proceedings in pursuit of maximum compensation.