Workplace injuries can range in gravity from mild to fatal, and include everything in between. It is important, of course, for injured workers to report all injuries promptly to their employer so that they are able to receive the workers’ compensation benefits to which they are entitled. This is particularly important in cases where a worker has been permanently injured.
Permanent injuries, including amputations, obviously have an enormous impact on a worker. They can impact a workers’ ability to continue in the same employment, his or her income, housing, marriage, family situation, mental health and many other aspects of life. Unfortunately, serious, permanent injuries are not uncommon in certain industries.
According to a recent report by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there were a total of 2,644 amputations in 2015. Not surprisingly, the manufacturing industry claimed the highest portion of amputations, accounting for 57 percent of the total. Other industries at higher risk were oil and gas, transportation, construction and warehousing.
We’ve previously written about the main types of benefit to which injured workers are entitled under the law. In addition to the benefits we’ve spoken about, an additional benefit may be available to workers who are left with less or no ability in a body part than what they previously had. The award is known as a loss of use award, and is awarded on an established schedule. The exact amount depends on the body part that was injured and the degree of injury. In our next post, we’ll continue looking at this issue.
Kutv.com, “Workplace accidents led to nearly 3,000 amputations in 2015,” Ahiza Garcia and Patrick Gillespie, March 19, 2016.
Workers’ Compensation Board, “Understanding Your Schedule Loss of Use Award,” Accessed March 21, 2016.