Louisiana manufacturing workers may benefit from new OSHA guidelines regarding amputations sustained at work. A 2015 document was released detailing the procedures used to implement the new program in a multitude of industries that experience high numbers of amputations. These industries were chosen using relevant Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The most common types of businesses include machine shops, sawmills, both commercial and retail bakeries, meat processing plants and food manufacturing plants of all types.
OSHA updated the National Emphasis Program regarding amputations with the help of BLS injury data to help with site selection targeting. The same methodology was used prior to the National Emphasis Program’s implementation. According to the BLS, 2,000 workers experienced amputations in 2013 alone. There were 1.7 amputations per 10,000 full-time employees in the manufacturing sector, which was double the rate of private industry as a whole.
Workers who have been injured as a result of unguarded machinery may lose their lives or experience permanent disability, according to the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. The OSHA directive was designed to improve employee safety and to ensure that employers take the necessary steps to reduce hazards in the workplace. While the directive applies across all industries, employee exposures will be the subject of evaluation on jobs requiring clearing jams, oiling or greasing machines and locking out machinery.
Louisiana workers who sustain amputations while performing a job involving the use or maintenance of machines or other dangerous equipment may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation may cover both short- and long-term medical expenses, including hospital stays, exams and long-term care. A workers’ compensation lawyer may be able to help provide an injured worker with the legal representation needed to deal with a difficult employer or insurer.