Amputations from Saws
Written by Faith Anderson on July 30, 2013
Of all the woodworking tools used on construction sites, saws are probably the most dangerous. Chainsaws, table saws, circular saws, and other types of woodworking equipment certainly come in handy when building wooden structures. Unfortunately, defective saws or saws that aren’t well-maintained or used properly can become dangerous weapons on a job site where workers come in contact with these machines on a daily basis. While there are safety guidelines in place to prevent grievous injuries like amputations from saws, failure to adhere to these federal regulations can result in devastating consequences, especially for construction workers who have spent the majority of their lives becoming skilled at their trades. If you have suffered a loss of limb injury on a construction site, contact a construction accident attorney for legal help.
Long-Term Effects of Amputations from Saws
Amputation injuries are particularly common among construction workers who regularly use heavy machinery and saws to perform their tasks on the job site. In addition to the physical pain and emotional trauma caused by accidental amputations on construction sites, amputations from saws and other construction equipment typically result in costly medical bills, which are especially overwhelming for employees who are unable to return to work because of their injury. Many victims of amputation injuries require significant medical treatment, rehabilitation, and possibly the use of a prosthetic limb, all of which can quickly add up in cost. Unfortunately, this type of catastrophic injury also sometimes forces a worker to re-learn everyday living and cope with his or her permanent disability in the face of such a tragedy, which is no easy task.
OSHA Regulations to Prevent Loss of Limb Injuries
Amputations are a serious workplace hazard, and they are, unfortunately, not uncommon. In fact, between 1992 and 1999, there were more than 21 fatal and more than 11,000 nonfatal workplace amputations each year. In an effort to minimize the serious injury caused by saws and other dangerous equipment on construction sites, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established the following guidelines for the proper use and maintenance of saws.
- Make sure the saw blade is not touching anything before you turn it on
- A circular saw must have a guard above and below the base plate
- Make sure the blade guard returns to the fully-guarded position after you cut
- Never drop-start a chainsaw
- Always hold a saw with both hands
- Do not use your leg to prop up a saw
- To prevent kickback, hold your forward arm straight and do not cut above chest height
- After you turn off a saw, hold it away from you until the blade stops turning
- Always turn off a saw before carrying it anywhere
Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Amputations from Saws
Construction workers who suffer from serious injuries on the job site, such as amputations from saws, may be eligible for medical benefits by filing a workers’ compensation claim. The families of workers whose amputation injuries result in fatality may also be entitled to death benefits by filing a workers’ compensation claim with the worker’s employer. While workers’ compensation only provides benefits for medical bills and lost wages, injured employees may be eligible for additional compensation by filing a third-party liability claim if their injuries were caused by a third party not employed by their employer.
Construction Accident Attorneys for Amputation Injuries
Not only are amputation injuries painful, but they can severely alter the remainder of a construction worker’s life, resulting in loss of income and significant medical bills. If you have suffered an amputation injury at work, or if you lost a loved one in a construction site accident, contact a construction accident attorney to discuss your legal options. You should never be forced to shoulder the burden of workplace injuries on your own. You may be entitled to life-saving compensation, and a qualified construction accident lawyer can help you protect your legal rights and seek fair and timely reimbursement for your injuries.