All employees in Colorado and elsewhere who work in industrial facilities are at risk of suffering amputation injuries, regardless of what they manufacture. Those working around machines in the baking industry are as vulnerable as workers who make car parts, and permanent disability is often the result. These life-changing injuries are preventable, but non-compliance with federal safety regulations continue.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently reported that a baking company in another state failed to address previously cited safety violations. In May, a 28-year-old employee suffered serious injuries while cleaning an unprotected machine to which the energy was not isolated. The severity of this man’s injuries resulted in the subsequent amputation of his right arm.
An OSHA investigation and citations followed. However, during a follow-up inspection in July, safety investigators found that employees continued to be exposed to the same hazards that claimed the arm of a worker just more than a month earlier. The efficiency of lockout/tagout procedures remained unaddressed, and OSHA issued more citations and penalties, none of which will make up for the loss of the worker’s arm.
When an amputation injury causes a permanent disability, it is not only the medical expenses and lost income that the victim must face but also the future without the ability to earn a living. Fortunately, victims of amputation injuries in Colorado may pursue financial relief through the state’s workers’ compensation insurance system. In addition, the insurance program may arrange vocational training to equip the victim with new skills that may help to secure an alternative job.
Source: cincinnati.com, “OSHA: Klosterman Baking Co. penalized for safety violations“, Patrick Brennan, Nov. 10, 2016