Brian, Zwick, Stone & Associates
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Workers’ compensation: Power saw injuries could be catastrophic

Workers in a number of industries in Ohio use power saws, even if only occasionally. While inexperienced workers are at risk, those with too much experience tend to become complacent, putting them at similar risks. Thousands of workers’ compensation claims involve fractures, lacerations and even amputations each year.

The following types of power saws pose serious hazards:

  • Table saws: Of the many thousands of table saw accidents each year, one in 10 cause amputations. The most severe safety violation involves removing or improper use of safeguards because placing and operating them is time-consuming and frustrating.
  • Circular saws: The hazards posed by circular saws are often underestimated because they are convenient and portable. Most injuries caused by these saws result from kickbacks of improperly clamped items.
  • Chainsaws: Reportedly, more than 35,000 chainsaw-related injuries to knees, legs, hands, face, shoulders and necks are reported nationwide each year. The lack of personal protective equipment, poor judgment, complacency and inexperience are frequently cited causes.

Each tool has operating instructions and safety guidelines to follow, but power saw operators must be equipped with appropriate personal protective equipment. Furthermore, safety training related to the use of power tools is essential.

Injured workers in Ohio are typically eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. However, when it comes to power tools, injuries caused by malfunctioning equipment might give victims grounds to pursue additional financial relief under the state’s personal injury laws. While workers’ comp benefits typically cover medical expenses and a portion of lost wages, a personal injury lawsuit might provide more comprehensive damage recovery. An attorney with experience in both fields of the law can advocate for injured workers.