Lieberman, Ryan & Forrest, L.L.C.
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Workers' compensation: Amputation hazards

Workers in the manufacturing industry will always be at risk of suffering amputation injuries. A significant percentage of workers' compensation benefits claims filed in New Jersey and across the country involve work-related amputation injuries. Employers are responsible for employee safety, which means that all the necessary protective devices must be present on machines and equipment with moving parts.

Furthermore, employees must get safety training that will inform them of potential hazards and protect themselves from catastrophic injuries. Although most work-related amputations involve fingers, many workers lose their hands, feet, toes or other body parts. Most of these injuries result from workers making contact with moving or rotating parts, or repairing or cleaning equipment without turning off the power.

Danger points include points of operation such as using cutting razors, metal bending in a mechanical press and using drill bits for cutting holes in metal. Apparatuses with power transmission for transmitting energy, such as chains, pulleys, flywheels, gears and cams also pose amputation hazards. Besides, any machines that traverse moving parts, rotate or reciprocate with enough force to crush or cut bones and flesh must have safeguards to prevent contact.

Amputation injuries are understandably life-altering, even if it is only a finger. The loss of any body part might impact the victim's ability to return to the same occupation. In such cases, an experienced New Jersey workers' compensation attorney can provide the necessary support and guidance to ensure that the worker receives maximum benefits. These might include the opportunity to receive vocational rehabilitation to equip the injured worker with new skills and prepare him or her to establish a new career.

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