A 63-year-old man suffered major injuries on the job after his arm became stuck inside a machine and got severed just below the elbow. According to a news article in The Orange County Register, the industrial accident occurred the night of May 17, 2012 at GE Aviation Systems at 2040 E. Dyer Road in Santa Ana. When emergency personnel arrived at the plant, they found the man’s arm still stuck in the machinery. Co-workers had created a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. Cal/OSHA officials are investigating the cause of this injury accident. The worker and his severed arm were transported to an area trauma center. It is not known whether surgeons were able to reattach his arm.
My thoughts and prayers are with the injured worker and his family members for what they are going through at this time. I truly hope the worker will have a speedy and complete recovery and that doctors will be able to reattach his arm.
Workplace Accident Statistics
According to a 2009 report by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 734 workers were injured in accidents involving contact with objects and equipment. A total of 232 workers were killed by being caught in or compressed by equipment and 112 workers were fatally injured when caught in equipment in operation.
What Caused This Industrial Accident?
Based on the news report, it is not entirely clear as to how or why this industrial accident occurred. There are several questions that remain here. Did some type of defective product or a machinery malfunction cause this accident? Did the piece of machinery involved have a guard to prevent these types of accidents? Was the worker properly trained for the job? Were all safety measures being followed? Was the worker wearing protective gear at the time? I trust OSHA officials are looking into these and other issues in order to determine precisely what occurred here and why.
Compensation for Injured Workers
In such cases, the injured worker will be entitled to receive workers compensation benefits from the employer. He may also receive disability benefits if he loses his arm and is unable to return to work. However, in addition to those benefits, the worker may be able to file a third party claim. Such claims, usually worth a lot more than workers compensation benefits, are filed against parties other than the employer. Typically, a party such as a contractor, sub-contractor, equipment maintenance firm, or the manufacturer of a defective product may be subject to a third party claim. Injured workers or their families would be well advised to contact an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer, who will analyze all aspects of the incident and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected. It is important that the equipment involved in an on-the-job accident be preserved unaltered so it can be thoroughly examined by an expert for any evidence of defects, malfunctions or poor maintenance.