The loss of a limb is a permanent and disabling injury which has devastating effects on all aspects of the victim’s life. In addition to suffering excruciating physical pain, the amputation victim may need to purchase expensive prostheses, undergo physical therapy, and leave their career forever.
If you or your spouse lost a limb, hand, foot, toe, finger, or thumb in a workplace accident, your family may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. With over 75 years of combined legal experience, the amputation injury lawyers of Hasbrook & Hasbrook are firmly committed to helping the hard-working people of Oklahoma City obtain the compensation they deserve. To set up a free, completely confidential legal consultation, call the law offices of Hasbrook & Hasbrook at (405) 698-3040 today.
OSHA Injury Reporting Requirements for Employers
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) tracks and investigates workplace injuries throughout the U.S. OSHA maintains an Oklahoma office at the following address:
Oklahoma City Area Office
55 North Robinson – Suite 315
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Prior to 2015, employers were required to report work-related deaths and work-related hospitalizations where at least three employees were hospitalized. However, on January 1, 2015, OSHA expanded its workplace injury reporting requirements to work-related amputations, including:
- Amputations in which the limb or appendage is successfully reattached.
- Controlled medical amputations made necessary by irreparable physical damage.
- Fingertip amputations, regardless of whether any bone is lost or damaged.
- Full and partial
Employers must report amputations to OSHA within 24 hours of becoming aware of the injury. The reporting time decreases to eight hours for fatal injuries. According to a March 2016 press release from the U.S. Department of Labor, employers nationwide reported 2,644 workplace amputations to OSHA in 2015, the first year of the amputation reporting requirement.
According to the same press release, “OSHA found some employers exceeded the agency’s requirements to protect workers from future incidents. Unfortunately, a few responded with callous disregard. One manufacturer tried to hide an entire room full of machinery from OSHA inspectors.”
Did You Suffer a Work-Related Amputation While Operating an Industrial Machine?
According to OSHA, the greatest risk for workplace amputation is the “unguarded or inadequately safeguarded” operation of power tools and industrial equipment, particularly the following devices:
- Band Saws
- Circular Saws
- Drill presses
- Guillotine shears
- Meatpacking machines
- Meat Processing machines
- Meat slicers
- Metal-forming machines
- Milling machines
- Paper products machines
- Printing presses
- Punching machines
- Shearing machines
- Slitting machines
- Woodworking machines
Amputation injuries have the potential to occur on any type of jobsite, in any occupation. However, certain jobs and industries are known to have high accident and injury rates. Industries with high rates of worksite injuries and fatalities include:
Specific occupations with high rates of death and injury include:
- Collecting garbage and recyclables
- Farming and ranching
- Installing and repairing power lines
- Iron and steel working
- Truck driving
Who Qualifies for Workers’ Compensation in OK? How Do You File a Claim?
Regardless of industry or occupation, all employers have a duty to:
- Comply with state, federal, and industry safety standards.
- Take reasonable precautions to maximize jobsite safety while minimizing the risk that an employee could be injured.
When employers are negligent in the performance of these duties, their employees can be injured or killed by an amputation accident. When an employee suffers an amputation or other job-related injury in Oklahoma, he or she can file a claim for workers’ compensation. There is no waiting period to file a claim. Claims are processed by the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission (OWCC), which is located at the following address:
Denver Davison Building
1915 North Stiles Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Other than sole proprietors (self-employed persons) and independent contractors, who are not technically classified as employees, most workers in the state of Oklahoma are covered by workers’ compensation benefits. There are, however, a few narrow exceptions, such as truck-tractor owner-operators.
If your injuries cause you to miss more than seven days of work, you may be entitled to receive Total Temporary Disability (TTD) benefits, which can continue for up to 156 weeks (about three years), or, in some circumstances, up to 208 weeks (about four years).
Most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage. However, if your employer is not covered, you may bring an action in the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Court of Existing Claims (CEC), or the appropriate district court, to recover damages (compensation) for your injuries.
If you were injured on the job in Oklahoma City or the surrounding area, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. You put in time and effort to be a reliable employee, and now that you have sustained a disabling injury, you deserve compensation for your pain, suffering, and expenses.
Backed by more than 75 years of combined experience, the work injury lawyers of Hasbrook & Hasbrook are dedicated to helping hurt workers secure the benefits they are entitled to. You worked hard to perform your job – now let us perform ours. To set up a free, completely confidential legal consultation, call our law offices at (405) 698-3040 right away. You will never be charged a fee unless we obtain compensation for you.