OSHA Investigates Pennsylvania Employer for Violations Resulting in Employee’s Amputation
July 9, 2019
A Pennsylvania-based manufacturing company is facing more than $687,000 in penalties for a variety of workplace safety and health violations resulting in an employee’s amputation injury. Despite being legally bound to provide protective measures that prevent illness, injury, and death in the workplace, irresponsible employers and machine manufacturers regularly put workers in harms way – and often, there are permanent or lethal consequences.
OSHA’s Role in Workplace Safety & Health
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal government agency that oversees workplace safety and health issues, like ensuring that employers stay compliant with critical safety standards (e.g. protective equipment, fall prevention, ladder safety, and more.). But OSHA is a small agency tasked with monitoring millions of businesses, manufacturing plants, and employers throughout the country; the agency is simply too small to protect every at-risk and hardworking American.
According to OSHA, thousands of workers lose their limbs because of preventable workplace accidents annually. On average, seven amputations happen per day – which comes out to thousands of workers seriously injured every year. All different types of industries can be hazardous, but the majority of amputations happen in:
- Manufacturing plants,
- The construction industry, and:
- Warehousing jobs
Amputation Control Measures: OSHA’s Tips for How to Maintain Safe Workplaces
There are numerous ways to protect workers from amputation injuries, but employers and manufacturers have to be responsible and vigilant with safety and health topics. OSHA recommends the following control measures for preventing amputation injuries:
- Install physical barriers to block off unsafe work areas;
- Maintain proper lockout/tagout procedures for every piece of equipment;
- Do not remove machine guards from equipment. Do not taper with, remove, or “work around” machine guards;
- Design and/or Install devices that help prevent workers from coming into contact with a machine’s moving parts;
- Ensure employees are adequately trained on how to use equipment and to report problems/concerns/safety violations, and:
- Provide necessary personal protective equipment, or PPE for every worker on every job
Recognizing amputation hazards in the workplace is one of the most effective ways for employers and manufacturers to prevent these injuries from happening. When a person is injured because an employer or manufacturer failed to implement necessary health and safety measures, it may be time to consider speaking with a lawyer.
Amputation injuries typically require long-term medical care, supervision, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and much more. Injured workers not only lose days on the job, but they often become responsible for what seems to be an unending supply of medical bills. When you’re hurt on the job, you may have a right to Workers’ Compensation or other legal remedies, which can provide peace of mind to injured employees during their difficult times.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation and Product Liability Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Represent Individuals Injured at Work
If you were injured at work, please contact our Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Galfand Berger. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.