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Permanent disability: 3 workers suffer amputations in 4 months

Business owners in Colorado are expected to comply with the strict safety regulations that are prescribed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. While many safety hazards are common in a variety of industries, some risks are more prevalent in industrial environments. Manufacturers typically employ machine operators, and failure to install the required safeguards for moving parts may lead to an injury that could cause permanent disability.

OSHA recently had strong words for the owner of an envelope printing facility in another state after a third amputation injury occurred within only four months. In all three cases, the injuries resulted from the lack of safeguards on machines that allowed employees to come into contact with moving parts. OSHA proposed more than $88,000 in fines for four serious and three willful safety violations.

The federal agency noted that the first amputation injury occurred in June. After an investigation, the company was ordered to take immediate action in developing safety protocols to protect workers. According to an OSHA director, the company's non-compliance with those orders resulted in two subsequent workplace accidents to happen that caused amputations. The employer's failure to act was said to be a clear sign of disregard for the safety of employees.

When a Colorado worker suffers an amputation injury, permanent disability may result. Not only does this leave the victim facing high medical expenses, but the worker may be unable to continue working in a position for which he or she was trained. The workers' compensation insurance system allows injured workers to pursue benefit claims to assist with medical expenses and lost income for the time the victim spends recuperating. In particular cases, the insurance program may provide vocational training to prepare amputation victims for different occupations.

Source: ohsonline.com, "Envelope Printing Facility Ignored Machine Safety Procedures: OSHA", Dec. 18, 2015

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