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Workplace injuries: Worker loses hand while grinding meat

Oklahoma workers in all industries are exposed to safety hazards, many of them unique to the type of work they do. However, basic safety regulations exist for all industries, and compliance with those can prevent most workplace injuries. Most owners of industrial companies know that equipment must be fitted with safety guards to prevent workers from suffering workplace injuries caused by moving machine parts. It's particularly important for butcher shops to protect their workers from the moving parts of meat saws or grinders.

An employee of a butcher shop in another state lost his hand in an accident while he was grinding meat last November. However, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has reportedly not yet established whether this accident occurred in its jurisdiction. The reason for this is the fact that the worker was not grinding the meat at the company owner's business address; rather, he was doing so at the home of the business owner.

Emergency workers who responded to the emergency at approximately 9:30 on the evening of Nov. 27, 2015, reported that the worker's arm was stuck in the meat grinder when they arrived. They could not remove his arm from the grinder, and the victim was apparently alert enough to tell EMS workers how to dislodge the meat grinder from the machine's housing. Once they managed that, he was rushed to a medical center with his arm still caught in the grinder. Fire fighters along with the hospital's emergency workers spent hours removing the grinder from the worker's arm.

Among the claimed workplace injuries suffered by the man was the loss of his hand. The fact that he was operating the meat grinder at his employer's house late on a Friday night might jeopardize his right to obtain Oklahoma workers' compensation benefits. One issue may be whether the man was actually working at the time of the accident and will likely depend on the specific reasons he was using the machine in the home of his boss on a Friday night. A consultation with an experienced workers' compensation attorney may help in addressing this issue and in determining the available options to pursue claims for financial relief in the aftermath of the tragic accident.

Source:, "OSHA continues to investigate Westfield meat grinder accident that took man's hand", George Graham, Jan. 21, 2016

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