Loss of limb is among the most severe injuries that a person can sustain.
It can have an immediate and permanent impact on the worker’s livelihood. In 2014, as many as 4,900 workers sustained injuries requiring amputation. The loss of a leg, hand or arm can ruin a career and make it impossible for the worker to continue working in the same job. Amputations are also among the costliest injuries to recover from. In this post, our St. Louis worker injury lawyer will explain how loss of limb can cause the person to lose his/her livelihood.
Occupations at high risk of injuries leading to amputations
Construction workers are at a high risk of suffering limb amputations at work. Entanglement with heavy machinery, sharp saws, and bring crushed under improperly secured construction materials can cause severe injuries to hands, fingers, legs and arms. Apart from the workers in the construction industry, workers in the manufacturing and food processing industries too report high rate of amputation injuries. Although OSHA requires companies in these sectors to strictly adhere to safety guidelines and recommendations provided by state and federal agencies, the risk of amputations in these sectors is still significant.
In these sectors, amputations often result from accidents involving inadequately or improperly guarded equipment or machinery. These include:
- Circular saws
- Grinding machines
- Band saws
- Conveyor belts
- Punch presses
- Food slicers
- Drill presses
- CNC milling equipment
- Metal shears
- Meat grinders
- Power presses
- Milling machines
- Printing presses
- Roll-bending and roll-forming machines
- Trash compactors
Although a large percentage of amputation injuries are reported in the aforementioned sectors, the reality is that amputations can occur in any industry, and in any job. A salesman traveling for work can also suffer an amputation in a motor vehicle accident.
Treatment and rehabilitation
A standard amputation injury requires 5-14 days of hospitalization. However, complications can extend this time period significantly. Complete recovery can take much longer if we factor in fitting of prosthesis, physical therapy, psychological counseling and other necessary treatments.
The wound typically heals within 2-4 weeks after the surgery, but the recovery period often extends to months and even years depending on the nature of the amputation and whether or not there are any complications.
The road is recovery is often long and tiring, not to mention the treatment expenses and costs of care that can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars. Amputations are considered the costliest of injuries, so the financial strain on the worker can be immense.
The disability rating of the worker who has suffered an amputation is determined by the extent of the injury and its impact on the worker’s ability to do perform his/her duties. The loss of a limb generally results in a permanent disability rating, while loss of fingers and toes often results in a partial disability rating.
If you have suffered an amputation at work, it is in your best interests to speak with a qualified St. Louis workers compensation lawyer who can compile all necessary documentation that shows the exact impact the injury will have on your livelihood and your ability to continue working in the profession. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4300 to schedule a free case evaluation.