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Workplace injury: Unguarded candy wrapping machine severs finger

Along with all other safety regulations, effective training is vital in any industrial facility in Colorado and elsewhere. This is especially true for companies that use the services of staffing agencies to provide workers. Temporary workers are often placed with different companies for short periods, each with its own safety hazards. For this reason, preparing workers for the dangers they will be facing at each workplace is vital. An untrained candy factory worker suffered a workplace injury in January that severed his finger.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported that it had completed an investigation into the amputation injury incident that occurred in the factory of a Tootsie Roll Industries subsidiary in another state. Investigators determined that the worker -- who had received no training -- was exposed to a candy wrapping machine though the moving parts were not safeguarded. The accidental contact caused one of his fingers to be severed.

OSHA found the hazards of this machine exposed workers to amputations, broken bones and soft tissue damage. Further findings revealed that neither the company nor the staffing agency provided training that could have prevented the amputation. Investigators reported that there was no record of periodic inspections to ensure the lockout/tagout devices will prevent unintended startups.

Depending on a person's trade or profession, an amputated finger may mean the worker will no longer be able to continue in that occupation. While compensation for medical expenses and lost income is available through the Colorado workers' compensation insurance system, additional assistance may be available. In cases in which a workplace injury caused a disability, the insurance program may provide occupational training to provide new skills that will allow the injured worker to continue earning a living.

Source: metro.us, "Cambridge candy factory penalized $46k after worker loses finger", Chris Caesar, May 25, 2016

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