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OSHA’s National Emphasis Program Targets Industries With High Amputation Rates

December 26, 2019

Source: wladimir1804/Adobe Stock

WASHINGTON, DC – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued an updated National Emphasis Program (NEP) to focus agency inspections on amputation hazards in manufacturing industries. This directive updates the NEP on amputations issued in 2015.

The NEP specifically targets industrial and manufacturing workplaces where employees are injured by unguarded or improperly guarded machinery and equipment. The updated NEP on amputations:

  • Revises targeting methodology to include data from amputation reporting requirements;
  • Revises coding requirements for amputation inspections in the OSHA Information System; and
  • Adds new appendices on amputations targeting methodology and North American Industry Classification System codes.

OSHA’s National Emphasis Programs focus the agency’s enforcement activity in a certain direction and do not create any new obligation to employers. The NEP on amputations includes a three-month period of education and prevention outreach, which will continue till March 10, 2020. During this period, OSHA will continue to respond to complaints, referrals, hospitalizations and fatalities.

Enforcement activities will begin after the outreach period and will remain in effect until further notification. To this end, OSHA-approved State Plans are also expected to have enforcement procedures that are at least as effective as those specified in OSHA’s trade release.

It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that machines are properly safeguarded in order to prevent amputations and other fatal injuries. OSHA’s Machine Guarding webpage provides compliance assistance resources to help employers identify amputation hazards, and follow required procedures to properly guard stationary and portable machines.

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