& Lacerations at Work?
Obtaining Maximum Benefits for Workers with Cuts and Lacerations
Cuts and lacerations are common workplace injuries. Pennsylvania employees who suffer cuts or lacerations at work may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, depending on the severity of their injury. The skilled workers’ compensation lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. are dedicated to helping clients obtain payment for medical expenses, lost wages, and any other types of benefits for which they qualify.
What is the Difference Between a Cut and a Laceration?
Both cuts and lacerations are injuries to the skin, however, lacerations tend to be deeper and more severe. Cuts and lacerations may be caused by sharp objects such as glass, knives, or metal blades. A cut is usually minor enough to be treated with basic first aid, whereas a laceration often requires more intensive wound care. If treated properly, lacerations typically heal within two weeks, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
Common Causes of Cut and Laceration Injuries in the Workplace
Workers in almost any industry may suffer from cuts and lacerations. Those in poultry processing are particularly at risk, with cuts and lacerations accounting for ten percent of all injuries, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Some of the most common causes of cuts and lacerations include:
- Dull blades
- Lack of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Lack of training
- Non-ergonomic workspace design
- Poor housekeeping
- Unguarded machinery
- Unsheathed knives
Potential Consequences of Severe Laceration
Lacerations vary in severity. Some occur to the extremities, leaving no visible scars while others cause permanent facial disfigurement. Deep lacerations can cut through tendons and muscles, reaching all the way to the bone. Even when a laceration seems minor, it must be carefully treated to avoid secondary infections. Some potential consequences of severe laceration include:
- Amputation – If a worker suffers a deep enough laceration, an amputation may be necessary. Poor circulation and serious infections may also necessitate surgical removal of a limb.
- Disfigurement – Workers who suffer facial lacerations may have permanent scars or may require surgery to reduce the risk of permanent disfigurement. Pennsylvania workers whose laceration caused scarring or disfigurement to the neck or head may be eligible for additional lump sum specific loss benefits.
- Infection – Wounds that are not treated properly can become infected. Secondary infections may turn what was a minor cut or laceration into a life-threatening condition.
Workers’ Compensation for Cuts and Lacerations
Laws regarding workers’ compensation vary by state, therefore it is advisable to seek legal advice from a local attorney. The experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. have proudly served all types of workers throughout the state for more than 40 years and are dedicated to helping our clients obtain maximum compensation.
Most Pennsylvania employees are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits for injuries they sustain at work. To remain eligible, they must report workplace injuries to their employers within 120 days, according to the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. Generally, all reasonable medical expenses are covered, as well as any missed work over seven days.
Those who suffer severe injuries such as amputations or facial disfigurements may also receive specific loss benefits. To be compensable, a scar must be on the head or neck and it must be permanent, meaning that it has not faded after at least six months. When determining eligibility as well as the amount of compensation to award, judges will consider other subjective factors such as the “unsightliness” of the scar.
Tips to Prevent Cuts and Lacerations at Work
Most cuts and lacerations can be prevented by implementing safe work practices. To minimize cuts and lacerations in the workplace, both employers and employees should implement safe work practices such as:
- Cutting away from the body
- Having adequate lighting
- Keeping the workspace clean
- Making sure machines are guarded
- Replacing worn equipment
- Sharpening dull blades
- Using the appropriate tools for the job
- Wearing the appropriate PPE
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Workers Obtain Compensation for Cut and Laceration Injuries
If you suffered a cut or laceration at work, contact a Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Our experienced attorneys represent clients in Philadelphia and throughout the state. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 888-PITT-LAW today.
We assist workers in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.