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$70,000 OSHA fine for CNC machine injury

How would your life change if you lost your hand in a workplace accident? A simple question, but examine, say for 15 minutes, what things you do within that period that you would no longer be able to do or would require significant accommodation to allow you to perform those tasks.

No one wants to lose a limb in a machine, but sometimes employers and their workers may become complacent. They know something is dangerous, but to save a few minutes of time when cleaning or because an employer is demanding greater productivity, short cuts are made.

Sadly, for too may workers those short cuts may involve cutting into their bodies and mangling an arm or leg and leaving them forever crippled by those injuries. Such an injury happened to a man in Island Lake, Illinois, where an employer modified the safety devices on a CNC machine. This allowed it to operate with the safety door open.

A worker was removing rust when machine's rotating parts caught his hand and pulled him into the machine. OSHA charged the company with a willful safety violation and proposed a $70,000 penalty.

The worker has required multiple surgeries on his damaged arm and hand, and even with the best medical care and rehabilitation therapy, he may never regain the same capabilities with that limb that he had prior to the injury.

Safety equipment can seem like a hassle and a pain, but it is nothing like pain that a damaged limb can produce over the remainder of an injured workers life.

Source: workerscomp.com, "Machinist Needs Several Surgeries After Catching Hand in Machine," July 1, 2015

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Hannigan & Botha, Ltd.
505 E Hawley St.
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