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OSHA: Finger injuries among most common in Pennsylvania

Workplace injuries can happen in any occupation, even serious ones. According to recent data made available by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), when it comes to “severe” injuries, Pennsylvania workers are most at risk of serious finger injuries.

For the purposes of this data, OSHA, the federal workplace safety agency, defines a “severe injury” as an amputation, loss of an eye or an injury requiring hospitalization. In 2015 and 2016, employers across Pennsylvania reported a total of 1,595 severe injuries. Of those, 28 percent involved injuries to or the loss of fingers and fingernails.

This information makes sense when you consider that almost every single line of work involves working with your hands in some way. Even if you work in an office, a freak accident could occur. Some of the occupations that people work in here in the Lancaster area where they would be more likely to suffer a severe finger injury or a finger amputation include:

  • Food service or preparation, especially when the use of knives or an electric slicer is necessary
  • Construction work that involves the use of power tools
  • Manufacturing work involving large machines
  • Mining, fracking and other energy-related work
  • Nurses who are working around needles and having to lift patients
  • Loading cargo onto semi-trucks

While some people may say there is nothing serious about a finger injury, it can affect a person’s entire life. A crushed finger or the loss of a finger will make some tasks more difficult, and the recovery could be quite painful and require multiple surgeries. It could mean having to enter a different line of work.

If you are injured, even if you do not think it is that serious, you should always report the injury to your employer. You should then seek medical attention to evaluate your injuries. These are both important steps if you want to seek workers’ compensation benefits if your injury will cause you to miss a significant amount of work.

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