Employers in all industries in Florida must protect the health and safety of employees. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes general safety regulations along with some rules that apply to particular industries. A significant number of workers’ compensation benefits claims are filed each year after preventable workplace accidents injure or kill workers.

One such accident caused catastrophic injuries to a construction worker on a recent Thursday morning. Firefighters responded after receiving an emergency call from a construction site in Hillsboro. They arrived at the site to find a 44-year-old worker whose right arm had been amputated by a piece of industrial equipment. It is not clear whether the machine was fitted with the necessary safeguards to prevent contact with moving parts.

According to witness reports, the worker was drilling holes into the ground by using an industrial auger. Under circumstances yet to be determined, the large drill bit of the auger caught the worker’s arm. The force of the rotating bit was enough to rip the man’s arm off below his shoulder. The rescuers rushed him to a local hospital and then airlifted to a medical facility in Fort Lauderdale where surgeons were to attempt to reattach the man’s arm.

Hopefully the surgery was successful. Even if it was, the worker will suffer life-long consequences of this preventable workplace accident. Medical expenses will be astronomical, and he is sure not to return to work soon — if ever. Fortunately, the Florida workers’ compensation insurance system provides financial assistance for victims of on-the-job accidents. An experienced attorney can assist with the claims process, improving the chances of the injured worker to receive all applicable benefits.