MSU Study Shows Feds Missing Critical Data On Amputations

New study from Michigan State University raises concerns about the federal government’s system for tracking work-related amputations.

Michigan State University published an interesting article last week in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. It found the number of work-related amputations in Michigan was nearly two-and-a-half times higher than federal estimates.

Dr. Kenneth Rosenman, co-author of the study, was critical of the methods used by the federal government for its data collection. ‘If your numbers are not accurate on how much of a problem there is, how do you know where to deploy your resources, or judge if any of your programs are successful in addressing the problem?’

Michigan Workers Compensation

The Workers Disability Compensation Act (WDCA) provides a schedule for specific loss benefits if an individual suffers a work-related amputation. This is the minimum number of weeks a person will be compensated regardless of whether they have returned to work.

Thumb: 65 weeks                          Great toe: 33 weeks
First finger: 38 weeks                   Other toes: 11 weeks
Second finger: 33 weeks               Foot: 162 weeks
Third finger: 22 weeks                  Leg: 215 weeks
Fourth finger: 16 weeks                Eye: 162 weeks
Hand: 215 weeks
Arm: 269 weeks

Workplace Safety

We think more needs to be done to prevent work-related amputations. Our office has handled many of these cases over the years and it almost always comes down to poor training or unsafe equipment.

Even when an employer removes safety features from a machine, workers compensation is the exclusive remedy. Proving an intentional tort is almost impossible under current case law.

We think the specific loss provision of the WDCA should be amended to allow for an additional penalty provision. If an employer is grossly negligent resulting in an amputation or death, additional damages should be available.

To speak with one of our workers compensation lawyers in Michigan, call (855) 221-2667 for a free telephone consultation.

Alex Berman is the founder of Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers. He’s been representing injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Alex has helped countless people obtain workers compensation benefits and never charges a fee to evaluate a case.

Related information:

Injured On The Job: A Guide to Michigan Workers’ Compensation Law (FREE BOOK)

03/01/2013
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