When Using Mechanical Equipment, Pay Attention to Amputation Injury Risks

Amputation injuries involve the removal of a body part, limb, or digit. These injuries are more common in some settings than others. For instance, workers and others who use mechanical or powered equipment face an increased risk of amputation injuries, according to studies by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides a number of guidelines for using mechanical equipment in the workplace, but amputation injuries may happen in a home workshop as well.

The United States has about 151,000 mechanical press operators, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). About 20,000 amputation injuries are suffered nationwide each year, and about 2,000 of these, or 10 percent, are suffered by mechanical press operators. These workplace accident include both amputations that are directly caused by equipment and amputations that must be performed medically when a limb is not but is injured too badly to save.

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