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Amputations and crushed fingers and hands are among the most severe and disabling workplace injuries that often result in permanent disability. They are widespread and involve various activities and equipment. (The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2005 annual survey data indicated that there were 8,450 non-fatal amputation cases – involving days away from work – for all private industry. Approximately forty-four percent (44%) of all workplace amputations occurred in the manufacturing sector and the rest occurred across the construction, agriculture, wholesale and retail trade, and service industries.) These injuries result from the use and care of machines such as saws, presses, conveyors, and bending, rolling or shaping machines as well as from powered and non-powered hand tools, forklifts, doors, trash compactors and during materials handling activities.
Recycling facilities may use machines of various configurations and may expose workers to hazards of moving parts of the machines, if not safeguarded properly. Employers must [578 KB PDF*, 60 pages] ensure that the workers are protected from the machine hazards and workers should make sure that the rotating parts and points of operation of machines are properly guarded prior to using them. Resources on machine guarding are provided below:
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