Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Ridgeland · Jackson Throughout Mississippi

Mississippi Workers' Compensation for a Hand Injury at Work

Doctor reading a work injury claim form with a wrapped hand on top of an X-ray.

Hands are indispensable for everything from mundane tasks like tying shoes to complex operations involving heavy machinery. That's why hand injuries - which affect around 120,000 workers annually - are so devastating. Overall, work-related hand injuries cover a wide range, from minor strains to severe trauma. Regardless, such injuries can significantly impact an individual's ability to work and carry out daily activities.

In Mississippi, help is available to workers with hand injuries, but they must prove how the injury happened and the extent of damages incurred - medical expenses, lost wages, etc. With about 25 percent of all nonfatal work injuries involving damage to the hands, workers need to understand this type of injury, how it happens, and their options for compensation.

What are work-related hand injuries?

Work-related hand injuries are often caused by repetitive motions such as typing, accidents involving machinery or tools leading to crushing or cutting incidents, and exposure to hazardous materials or extreme temperatures in the workplace. In the past five years, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has investigated reports of hand injuries in Mississippi poultry processing and plastics and food manufacturing plants in Madison, Corinth, Morton, and Picayune. The incidents include:

  • Lacerations to a worker's hand caught in a conveyor.
  • Amputated finger caught in a running pump gearbox.
  • Amputated two fingers caught in a gizzard chiller while attempting to unjam the machinery.
  • Crushed hand ensnared in a print roller.
  • Amputated four fingers after a gloved hand was caught in a rotating auger.

In these incidents, OSHA cited the companies for violations such as exposure to unguarded rollers, rotating shafts, and gears, failure to train workers on the specific procedures to prevent machinery from starting up during maintenance, and lack of protective guarding.

How occupational hand injuries happen

According to a study, the most common risk factors for work-related hand injuries include regular use of heavy machinery and/or power tools, performing repetitive tasks, continued work while injured or hurt, weakness of the thumb muscles, and instability. Common work scenarios resulting in hand injuries include:

  • Snared in machinery.
  • Manual material handling. Lifting, carrying, or moving heavy objects, leads to strains, sprains, or crush injuries.
  • Tool usage. Hand tools, power tools, or equipment with sharp edges or points can cause accidents, while vibrations from the machines can lead to damage over time.
  • Slips, trips, and falls.
  • Improper ergonomics. Poor workstation setup or repetitive motions leading to strains, sprains, or RSIs.
  • Working with chemicals. Direct contact with hazardous substances causes burns, irritation, or allergic reactions.
  • Hot work. Exposure to high temperatures or flames leads to burns or scalds.
  • Electrical work. Contact with live wires or faulty electrical equipment resulting in electrical shocks or burns.
  • Handling sharp objects.
  • Inadequate PPE.
  • Cleaning and maintenance.

Contact a Mississippi workers' compensation attorney today

Although reports of occupational hand injuries have declined slowly over the years, this type of injury is still very common. Each year, hand injuries are often the leading cause of workplace injury resulting in an average of more than a week off work. In Mississippi, workers with hand injuries can seek compensation through workers' compensation for coverage of medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation. There's more to the process, but here are the basic steps for obtaining work-related injury compensation:

  • Seek medical attention and keep records of all medical treatment.
  • Report the injury to your employer immediately.
  • Consult with a Mississippi work injury lawyer to understand your legal rights and options.
  • Keep detailed records of all expenses and communication related to the work injury.
  • File a workers' compensation claim with your employer.

If a third party's negligence contributed to the injury, a civil lawsuit can sometimes be filed alongside the workers' comp claim for additional damages. A third-party claim can provide compensation for damages not covered under workers' comp, such as pain and suffering. The best way to get a clear understanding of your potential legal options is to consult with an experienced Mississippi work injury attorney at Tabor Law Firm, P.A. To learn how we can help with your potential legal case, contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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