Federal Tally May Not Be Valid Count of Workplace Amputations
Amputations are among the most catastrophic workplace-related injuries and typically occur in the construction industry, manufacturing sector, forestry and logging. A new study finds that the number of workplace-related amputations tabulated by the federal administration may be underestimated.
The research finds that the number of workplace amputations, at least in the state of Michigan, is actually much higher than the federal tally.The study was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The researchers analyzed workers’ compensation records as well as hospital records.
They concluded that there were a total of 616 workplace amputations in the state of Michigan in 2008. However, the federal estimate showed just 250 amputations.
The federal administration’s tally of amputation-related injuries comes from a survey of selected employers. That’s the reason for the wide disparity between the federal figures and figures derived from hospital and workers’ compensation records, which are much more accurate.
This apparent inaccuracy of the federal estimates is extremely worrisome to the Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers at Parsons & Associates, P.C. An incorrect count makes it difficult to judge the effectiveness of safety measures.When employers have no accurate record of how many amputations are occurring in the workplace, they have no access to resources to help prevent these injuries.
The co-authors of the study recommend that the federal administration use multiple data sources to come up with its estimate of injuries to reduce such disparities. A comprehensive injury tally system would do a better job of estimating injuries and also help provide clues about how to prevent these injuries.
Michael Parsons is an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer, representing injured workers in the metro Atlanta region and helping them recover the workers’compensation benefits they deserve.