Employees in a variety of industries in Maryland may benefit from a recent adjustment to OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on amputations. The program is geared towards reducing the number of workplace amputations across the United States. According to data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2,000 workers in the manufacturing industry suffered amputations in 2013.
Sawmills, commercial bakeries, meat processing plants, machine shops and food processing plants are just some of the high-risk workplaces targeted by the new directive. It is based on enforcement data provided by OSHA as well as BLS statistics. According to the BLS, the amputation rate for the manufacturing industry was twice the rate of all private industries as a whole. Unguarded machinery is a common cause of permanent disabilityor death, according to the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
The new OSHA directive is expected to make employers identify amputation risks in the workplace and eliminate any significant hazards that employees face while on the job. While these regulations may have significant meaning to employers in the high-risk manufacturing industries, they are applicable to any general industry employers who utilize machinery. Other types of dangerous equipment that are likely to result in amputation fall under the new directive as well.
Maryland employees who suffer workplace injuries may be eligible to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can include the provision of necessary medical care and treatment as well as a percentage of wages lost. A workers’ compensation attorney can often be of assistance to an injured worker, both when preparing the claim and in a subsequent hearing if the claim is disputed or denied.