Connecticut man loses 8 fingers in workplace accident

Nearly every occupation carries some risk of injury. However, individuals who work around dangerous machinery are particularly susceptible to traumatic injuries on the job. For that reason, it is important for employers and workers alike to take proactive steps to ensure the workplace is as safe as is reasonably possible.

A recent accident in New Milford shows what can happen if workplace safety rules aren't properly observed.

The accident occurred at a company that supplies masonry materials. A worker's hands came in contact with an unprotected wire rope on a skip hoist, causing him to lose eight fingers. U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules require employers to implement safeguards to prevent workers from coming into contact with these wire ropes.

When investigating the accident, OSHA discovered three serious violations at the company. The agency initially fined the company more than $10,000, but reduced the penalties to $6,000 as part of a settlement agreement.

Connecticut workers' compensation

When accidents like this happen, it is important for injured workers to take immediate steps to protect their rights. Connecticut law allows individuals injured in workplace accidents to make claims for workers' compensation benefits. Workers' compensation is a no-fault system, meaning that workers do not have to prove their employers were negligent in order to recover benefits. In addition, workers can recover benefits even if their own negligence played a role in causing the accident.

Workers' compensation will pay for reasonable medical treatment resulting from a workplace injury. It will also provide wage loss benefits to workers who need to take time off of work in order to recover.

In addition, Connecticut workers' compensation will provide disability benefits to workers who suffer permanent injury in a workplace accident.

How to claim workers' compensation benefits

When workplace injuries happen, workers should report the incident to their supervisors as soon as possible.

In addition, workers should seek immediate medical treatment, even in nonemergency situations. When seeking medical treatment, it is important to recognize that some employers have designated physicians or clinics for workers' compensation claims. If the employer has a designated medical provider, workers are required to seek initial treatment there.

Next, workers must file an official workers' compensation claim. At this point, the employer must either start paying benefits or provide a notice of claim denial.

If the employer denies the claim, or if any other complications are encountered, injured workers would be well advised to consult with an experienced workers' compensation attorney. Most workers' compensation attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they do not charge attorney fees unless and until benefits are recovered.