Regardless of where you work, you probably rely on machines to complete your job duties. If the machinery you use includes computers, fax machines and copiers, you probably do not have much of an amputation risk. By contrast, working with heavy machinery may put your limbs in jeopardy.
According to a recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, machinery was to blame for 58% of the workplace amputations that happened in 2018. Consequently, if you work with a compactor, baler, lift, saw, press or any other piece of heavy equipment, you should exercise additional caution.
Ask for safety training
Your employer should take steps to keep you safe when you are working with or near heavy machinery. If you have not gone through safety training, you should not use any machinery. You should also ask your employer to provide you with job-appropriate training and safety updates.
Inspect your machines
Even though your employer may be responsible for maintaining the machines you use every day, you must be an advocate for your own health and well-being. Therefore, before you use any machine, you should inspect it for any visible signs of damage. If you find a machine needs work, you also should alert your coworkers to the potential danger.
Keep your limbs free
With most machines, it is simply not acceptable to insert your arms, legs, hands or any other part of your body. By keeping your limbs free, you reduce your amputation risk. If you must work on a machine, be sure you disconnect it from its power source.
Even if you prioritize your safety, you may eventually suffer a catastrophic amputation at work. Ultimately, pursuing workers’ compensation benefits may help you obtain the medical treatment, rehabilitation and accommodations you need.