Federal safety agency investigating amputation accident

A man from northeastern Pennsylvania was seriously injured at a Walmart Distribution Center last month. The industrial accident occurred on Dec. 30 last year at the distribution center in Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania. Now, investigators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are looking for answers.

According to the operations director at the Pocono Mountain Regional Ambulance, the victim, who has not been identified, is still hospitalized. His arm was transported on ice to the Geisinger-Community Medical Center in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

An individual with the Wilkes-Barre Area Office of OSHA confirmed that the incident is under investigation. OSHA is responsible for setting and enforcing safety regulations in the workplace. It has jurisdiction over employees in the private sector, like Walmart, but not over those who work for the government, who are self-employed or who work on family farms.

The investigation will include photographs of the work site area, witness interviews and a search for issues that can be addressed so future incidents can be prevented.

Employers have a responsibility to their employees to provide a safe workplace. This can include everything from keeping the floors free from water to providing personal protection equipment to employees. While OSHA does not investigate every accident, it does investigate those that result in serious injury or death. Employers can be fined if it is determined that the regulations were not being implemented or followed.

If you or a loved one are injured in a workplace accident, you have a right to seek workers’ compensation benefits. If your claim is denied, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you appeal that decision.

Source: Philly Voice, “OSHA investigates after Pa. man loses arm at Walmart Distribution Center,” Michael Tanenbaum, Jan. 06, 2016

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