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Workplace policies that can prevent loss of limbs

On Behalf of | Jul 4, 2024 | Workplace Injury |

The employer-employee relationship should be straightforward. You give up a certain amount of time to perform tasks for your employer. In turn, they compensate you for your time and skills.

You shouldn’t be required to give up a limb for your boss, but unfortunately, that’s precisely what happens to almost 20,000 employees each year. 

3 common causes of workplace amputations

1. Machinery and equipment

One of the leading causes of workplace amputations is contact with unguarded machinery. Moving parts, such as blades, gears and rollers, need proper guarding. Another common problem is failing to have lock-out/tag-out policies during maintenance or repairs. The machine can accidentally start, causing severe injuries.

2. Power tools

Power tools without essential safety features, such as guards and emergency stop buttons, pose significant risks. Furthermore, some of these tools are defective or poorly maintained.

3. Conveyor systems

Conveyor systems can lead to caught-in/between hazards where employees’ limbs can get trapped between moving parts.

Employers must ensure a safe workplace to prevent severe injuries, including the loss of limbs. In addition to installing appropriate guards on machinery and having a regular inspection and maintenance schedule, workplace policies and procedures should be in place.

The first step is implementing safety standards and protocols. Employers need to develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) for all tasks involving machinery and hazardous equipment. SOPs should include step-by-step instructions, safety precautions and required personal protection equipment (PPE).

Upon being hired, employees should undergo a comprehensive safety training program that educates them on potential hazards, safe operating procedures and emergency response actions. Specific equipment training should also be provided for employees who operate machinery or equipment that poses a higher risk of causing limb injuries.

The loss of a limb is devastating. By implementing policies that provide a multifaceted approach toward staff safety, businesses can create a worker-safe environment that protects employees from catastrophic injuries.