Employers must conduct frequent workplace hazard assessments, analyze them and address potential injury hazards. Unfortunately, it is often only after preventable accidents happen — some of them catastrophic — that safety authorities come in and identify safety violations. An employee of a North Carolina arms company was a victim of a preventable amputation injury, and the worker will likely rely on workers’ compensation benefits to provide financial assistance.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an inspection was launched after the worker lost a part of his finger because the broaching machine that he was operating lacked guarding. Along with that violation, compliance inspectors also identified multiple other unaddressed safety hazards. Included were exposures to struck-by, electrical, ladder, chemical, crushing and tripping hazards.
OSHA says citations were also issued for health-related violations including the failure to monitor the levels of lead exposure, testing confined spaces for atmospheric hazards and establishing a program to prevent hearing loss. Workers were found working without personal protective equipment while handling unlabeled containers filled with corrosive and other hazardous chemicals. No worker should have to work in such dangerous conditions to earn an income.
Although the North Carolina workers’ compensation insurance system pays the medical expenses and lost wages of victims of on-the-job injuries, it will not replace an amputated body part. Even the loss of a fingertip can prevent a worker from continuing his or her current trade. An experienced workers’ comp attorney can assist with the claims process to obtain all the applicable benefits, including vocational training, if necessary.