Amputations are some of the most horrific workplace accidents possible. They can permanently impact someone’s quality of life and career prospects. Depending on the industry and what caused the amputation, it’s possible that losing a limb could also cost someone their life.
Even for those who do survive, they may find that their ability to work and care for themselves will decrease substantially after losing an extremity or a limb. They may need to enter a new field of work or even face a future where full-time work isn’t feasible anymore.
Although amputations aren’t common, they do still occur in many different work environments. Learning more about if your profession puts you at increased amputation risk can help you prioritize your own safety on the job a little bit better.
What jobs have the highest risk for amputations?
According to an analysis of data performed by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers who fall into the broad category of “operators, fabricators and laborers” represent more than half of all on-the-job amputations. Machine operators seem to have the highest risk for non-fatal amputations, while truck drivers have the highest risk for fatal amputations.
Anyone who works with machinery, ranging from deli workers operating a slicer to those who drive for deliveries are at risk. The industries that have reported noteworthy rates of amputations include agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, services, mining, construction and manufacturing.
It’s also worth noting that men have a significantly higher level of risk of losing an extremity or limb, as they made up 94% of the victims in the data provided. There isn’t a similar correlation regarding the age of the workers injured, as workers across all age demographics suffered amputations.
Are there any protections available for workers who lose a body part?
Workers who suffer such traumatic injuries will likely qualify for workers’ compensation benefits that will protect them by covering their medical costs and simultaneously replacing a portion of their lost wages.
Those benefits are likely to be critical to someone dealing with a recent traumatic injury at work, as well as for their family and dependents. Loss of income and high medical bills are common consequences for those who suffer workplace amputations. Connecting with benefits is of the utmost importance for those who can’t currently work and support themselves.