The one thing you always tell new employees on your site is to stay alert. You know the dangers of using heavy machinery, and you tell workers time and time again that it only takes a second to lose a life—but you never expected that life to be your own.
While you’re thankful to be alive after a milling machine accident, it’s true that the rest of your life will be affected—you can’t button your shirts, type, or even hold your coffee cup now that your fingers have been lost. Workers’ compensation won’t pay out forever, and your ability to do your former construction work is all but impossible. How can you get the help you need to support your family when just getting dressed is a struggle?
Lax Safety Standards Could Have Played a Part in Your Milling Machine Injury
There are a number of ways your employer could be found liable for causing an amputation accident. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the dangers of losing a hand or finger in a milling machine accident can be greatly reduced using the following safe work practices:
- Proper attire. Employees should be warned about the dangers of wearing gloves, jewelry, or loose-fitting clothing while operating a milling machine, and long hair should be pulled back into a cap.
- Supervision and training. All operators should be given on-the-job training by employees who can demonstrate safe milling machine operation. Employers should continue to develop and implement safe work practices for all machine operators, including conducting periodic inspections to make sure all employees are following safety guidelines.
- Additional safeguards. Many milling machine models have optional safety devices, such as splash shields, chip shields, and self-closing guards that enclose the milling cutter when the table is removed. Installing these devices can provide extra protection to the operator, but many companies opt to forgo them to keep costs low.
- On and off practices. Employers should specifically train operators in which actions may be performed when the machine is running. For instance, operators should never remove chips, fines, turnings, or particles while the machine is in motion (even when using a brush instead of hands), and the milling machine should be turned off when not in use—before being left unattended and before attempting machine maintenance.
If your employer did not take these necessary precautions, he could be found guilty of negligence and owe you much more than New Jersey workers’ compensation benefits. To find out how to get maximum payment for your injury, click the link on this page to download our FREE book, What the Injured Worker Needs to Know: Your Workers’ Comp Guide.