Effects of Traumatic Amputation on Coworkers
by Amber Henson, on Mar 28, 2023
If you are the coworker/friend of someone who has had a traumatic amputation, it can be very troubling for several reasons. You may worry about your coworker, how they will recover and if they’ll be back at work. If their amputation happened on the job, you may be concerned about your own safety and not be sure who to turn to. In this article, we’ll be exploring the different reasons why you may feel stressed or anxious, not only about your friend but about yourself.
No matter where your coworker was injured, you may be wondering how you can help. Reaching out to your supervisor before you reach out directly to your coworker may be a good place to start, just to gauge how your friend is doing and if there’s anything specific they need. Is there anything they could use from their office or workspace that you could bring them? Has someone started a Meal Train for them? Could you help pick up kids or groceries?
If your coworker was injured on the job, feeling worried about whether the same thing could happen to you is a perfectly valid reaction. It’s helpful to know, though, that on-the-job amputations are very rare inside of the United States. While over 150 million people are employed in the US, there were only 6,200 work-related amputations in 2018. If you are worried about workplace safety, your HR Department should be able to help. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to them for whatever reason, you can always contact OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Our Arm Dynamics clinical team have helped many individuals successfully return to work. Some of them returned to the job they were doing before their injury, like Mark Betters (who was injured on the job on a construction site), Eduardo Garcia (a chef who was injured while hunting), and Austin Anderson (a tree faller in Yosemite who was injured while helping a neighbor trim their tree). Some of them returned to the same company but took on different responsibilities, which you can read about in our article, Returning to Work After an Amputation: Changing Roles. For some individuals, they wound up changing careers but are still pursuing their goals.
Whether or not your coworker returns to work involves different factors, including the severity of their amputation, the type of work they do, and the support and tools they receive. At our Arm Dynamics centers, we teach each of our patients to use their device, and if they are planning to get back to work, we are often able to go to their worksite to help them navigate their necessary tasks.
You can find more information about how to support your coworker following their amputation in our article, Effects of an Amputation on Friends of the Patient.
If you know someone who would benefit from a complimentary consultation with our clinical team, please have them contact us. If you would like to leave a comment related to this article, please do so below.