New York workers are at risk for a variety of serious and life threatening injuries. Of these, amputations are some of the most serious. Amputations threaten a person’s ability to live a normal life and to ever return to work. People should understand if their workplace contains a risk of amputations and how to avoid this risk. Additionally, employers should take steps to protect their employees from these dangerous — and sometimes deadly — workplace injuries.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the risk of amputations often come from machinery found in the workplace. These machines include food slicers, drill presses, saws, shears, and printing presses. However, the risk of amputation is also present with trash compactors, forklifts and through the use of certain doors. Employees should understand that this risk is present not just when using the equipment, but also when cleaning, servicing, repairing or adjusting these dangerous machines.

In particular, employees should take great care around any sort of mechanical movement. Movement such has cutting, bending, punching, transversing, rotating, shearing and reciprocating can all lead to an amputation. The risk is increased near belts, gears, couplings and near where the machine actually performs its work.

To reduce this risk, New York employers should follow OSHA standards that have been enacted to protect employees. In many situations, these including the use of guards that physically prevent people from harming themselves. Employers may also be required to use devices that interrupt the machine should an accident occur.

In cases where New York workers suffer an amputation, an attorney can help to explain their legal rights. These workers could be entitled to compensation under the workers’ compensation system.