All jobs carry risks to workers — both young and old. When workers are not carefully trained they can get into situations where they are unnecessarily put at risk. Even with training, workplace accidents can still occur that can endanger the lives of workers.

Recently, a 17-year-old New York teenager was critically injured while at work. According to reports, the teen had worked at an Italian restaurant since January 2013. However, recently while cleaning a pasta machine after closing one night a serious accident occurred. Apparently, the machine turned on while the teen’s arm was still inside. The industrial strength machine completely severed the boy’s arm as a result.The teen was flown to a hospital in critical condition. However, doctors report that they have been able to reattach the teenager’s arm.

New York workers who have suffered from serious workplace injuries — like an amputation — know that it can be a long road to recovery. There can be long hospital stays, rehabilitation and other treatments that are necessary before a worker can even think about returning to their place of employment. During this time, the worker may have medical expenses, lost wages and other expenses piling up. Workers’ compensation is often available to these workers to help cover these expenses. In New York, injuries to a person’s arms, legs, hands and feet are treated differently than other injuries under a law passed in early 2012. Under this law, a formula is used to determine how long a person is entitled to workers’ compensation. This formula will measure a variety of factors including educational level, age and work skills. Evaluations and test results from doctors will be necessary to complete these formulas.

People who have suffered workplace injuries to their hands, arms, feet or legs should make sure they understand all their rights to compensation. No employee should suffer financial harm as a result of a workplace accident.

Source: New York Daily News, “Teenager severs arm in pasta machine at upstate Italian restaurant,” Nicole Hensley, April 27, 2014