All workers expect their workplaces to have a basic level of safety precautions in place to protect them from injury. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, also known as OSHA, provides rules and guidelines that must be followed to ensure workers have a safe working environment. However, every year many workers are seriously injured while performing their jobs. Some employees even die due to injuries suffered while on the job.
A worker in Cook County, Illinois, recently suffered a very serious workplace injury while operating machinery. The reports indicate that his right hand was amputated by the machinery. The injured employee alleged that the workplace injury was caused by a defective machine used by the worker, and that the employer was negligent to allow use of that machine. Attorneys for the injured man are also making a case for strict liability of the employers, since the machine used by the worker was found to be unsafe, defective and unreasonably dangerous for the task it was being used to perform.
Additionally, the employee also stated that no safety mechanisms were in place to protect the worker, which led to the work-related injury. The $50,000 workers’ compensation lawsuit filed by the worker also alleged that using the machine was inherently dangerous and that while the machine was in use it provided no warning signal of malfunction to help a worker cease use before injury.
In most cases, a judge reviews a case for workers compensation to determine the amount of damage done to the worker by measuring the injuries suffered, financial losses incurred and the impact of the injury on the worker’s potential for employment. All these circumstances are used to determine the amount of compensation that may be awarded. However, in cases where the work-related injury is the loss of a limb, especially a hand, the amount of workers compensation is usually higher.
Source: Cook County Record, “Factory worker alleges negligence after machine amputates hand,” Carol Ostrow, July 29, 2015