Frequency of Amputations in the Workplace

Many Michigan workers may consider workplace accidents to be incidents such as slips. However, people can get more serious injuries at work and these can sometimes include amputations.

Amputations occur more frequently than some people may expect. CNN says that 2,644 people experienced amputations after a workplace accident in 2015. More of these injuries may occur each year, though, as only about 50 percent of the incidents which occur are reported. Reported incidents indicate that 30 people were seriously injured at work each day in 2015. Many amputations happen to people who work in manufacturing. People from this industry experienced 57 percent of the amputations which occurred.

According to the Laborers’ Health and Safety Fund of North America, amputations can point out shortcomings in a workplace’s safety environment. Reports of these incidents can lead to safety inspections after workers incur these wounds, allowing other hazards to be identified. Finding and resolving these safety hazards is important, as some employers may not always understand the severity of amputation wounds. The president of a safety institute has pointed out that while workers may not die after experiencing an amputation, they can still suffer heavy consequences. People may have a permanent disability and be unable to work for a month.

Many of the amputations which occur can typically be prevented. Workers most often lose a finger because they have not followed lockout procedures when performing maintenance. Additionally, people also lose fingers when machinery does not have protective safeguards to keep workers safe as they operate equipment. Fingertips and fingers accounted for more than 95 percent of the amputations which occurred in 2013.