A new report from Occupational Safety and Health Administration demonstrates the serious risks that employees continue to face on-the-job. CNN reported on the OSHA data, which was obtained over the course of 2015 from 26 different states that actually had higher workplace safety requirements in place than the minimum federal standards.
According to the OSHA report, there were 10,388 severe workplace injury cases over the course of 2015. Of these cases, there were 2,664 incidents in which workers experienced an amputation. Within the state of New York, workers whose limbs are amputated are entitled to receive a certain amount of workers’ compensation benefits. The cost of medical expenditures for treating the amputation and other workplace injuries should also be covered by a workers’ compensation insurer.
Amputations Cause Harm to New York Workers
Workers in certain industries were more likely than others to experience amputations. In particular, manufacturing workers suffered 57 percent of all injuries resulting in amputation. Manufacturing workers were, in general, at the greatest risk of getting hurt while performing work tasks. Employees who work in the manufacturing field accounted for 26 percent of all workers who were hospitalized over the course of 2015.
When an amputation occurs, especially for a manufacturing worker, the loss of a limb can often mean that earning power is reduced substantially or it can mean that a worker is no longer able to do his job. Workers’ comp should provide for the injured worker and compensate him for his damages. The extent of the compensation for losses is based upon the extent of lost use whenever an injury occurs to a body part, including when the injury involves amputation.
According to New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, the “determination of residual impairment and functional loss depends on the level of amputation.” There are standard guidelines in place to assess loss of use when an amputation happens. For example, when you experience an amputation at the elbow or above it, this is considered to equate to 100 percent loss of use of that arm. If you lose a finger at the proximal phalange, this equates to 100 percent loss of use of the hand. If your amputation occurs at the wrist, this is not only considered to be 100 percent loss of use of the hand but also to be 80 percent loss of use of the arm.
The extent of loss of use determines the number of weeks of benefits for the worker. For example, a worker would be entitled to 312 weeks of compensation for a 100 percent loss of use of the arm but to only 244 weeks for loss of use of the hand. An attorney can help workers to understand the extent of the losses they are entitled to.