From time to time we come across claims scenarios to some of our restoration contractor clients where we feel the loss is important enough to share in hopes your company can avoid a similar situation.
A restoration contractor recently experienced two serious lacerations injuries within a few months’ time to employees installing flooring. The first injury occurred when a worker using a toe-kick saw lost his balance and sustained a large wound to his thigh when the saw recoiled. Once treated for his injury, the cut became infected and required ongoing treatment. He lost one full year of work and his recovery included physical therapy three times a week and no weight bearing on his leg. The cost of the injury currently exceeds $200,000. While accidents can happen at any time, this particular employee admitted to being careless and working at a faster pace than he should have.
A second worker was severely injured a few months later while operating a table saw. Three fingers were injured, including a full amputation and two partials to his right hand. The guards were removed on the saw and he was not wearing gloves. A year later he has not returned to full duty or regained full functional capacity to his hand. He continues physical therapy and experiences regular pain. The cost of this injury exceeds $130,000.
Serious lacerations in these cases are life changing. One oversight can cause a lifetime of pain. The leg injury may have been avoided if a different tool was used for the job or proper care was taken while completing the task. The finger amputation could have been avoided by keeping the proper guards intact. Furthermore, establishing standards and expectations of safe work habits is always a good idea.