Doctors would only consider carrying out an amputation as the last recourse and only if there is no other option for saving the injured limb or body part. Depending on the type and severity of the injury, they may also consider amputation if it will help the patient recover quicker or if it promises a better outcome for the patient in the long term.
Individuals involved in major road accidents or workplace accidents are at highest risk of being so severely injured that there is often no option but to get their limb amputated.
- Road accidents – Meeting with an accident while driving or if a large, heavy vehicle crashes into you while you are driving a smaller vehicle, the crush injuries are likely to be very severe. A surgical amputation may be necessary if your limbs are severely fractured in a road accident.
- Workplace accidents – Workers working in workplaces that involve heavy machinery such as construction sites, quarries, mines and factories are at higher risk of amputation injuries. This could be because of a limb getting trapped in machinery, a limb getting severed by some kind of cutting machinery or a heavy object falling from great height and crushing a limb. Miners are at high risk of getting severely injured from explosions that happen within a confined space at great depth.
- Laboratory accidents – Chemical spills are the most common type of laboratory accident that may lead to an amputation if the body part is so severely injured that there is no other option.
What does the Law says about the duty of care from employers?
According to the terms of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers have a duty of care towards their workers and are responsible for putting proper precautions in place to ensure that the workplace is safe for all workers in their employ. This includes making sure that all equipment is properly maintained, all employees receive extensive training and supervision on proper and safe use of machinery and that protective guards are installed where necessary to prevent workers from any kind of work-related injury.
If your employer failed to meet any of the safety requirements as mandated by the Act and if you were injured and had to undergo a surgical amputation you may be entitled to file a claim for compensation. More on work accident claims can be read here.
You may also be entitled to compensation if your amputation was the result of a road accident or laboratory accident that was due to no fault of yours.