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OSHA Updates National Emphasis Program on Amputations

On August 13, 2015, OSHA announced its updated National Emphasis Program (NEP) for Amputations will now include all industries that contain machinery or equipment which may cause amputations. Under the new National Emphasis Program, OSHA is using current enforcement data and statistics from the Bureau of Labor’s injury data report to assist with all site selection targeting.

This new directive (CPL 03-00-019) comes on the heels of an OSHA change to its record-keeping requirements that became effective January 1, 2015. The change required facilities to report fatalities to OSHA within eight hours of the occurrence and in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye within 24 hours of the occurrence.

OSHA’s new inspections of facilities will now include an evaluation of employee exposures under normal business circumstances. Operations such as clearing jams, cleaning, oiling or greasing machines or machine pans, and locking out machinery to prevent accidental start-up all will be monitored. In addition, the new directive identifies 80 manufacturing industry groups that will be targeted for inspection, by their six-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code numbers.

In its press release, OSHA noted that inspections over the past 40 years have indicated that employee exposures to unguarded or inadequately guarded machinery and equipment occur in many workplaces, and all have the potential to cause amputations. However, the rate of amputations in the manufacturing field is more than double than that of private sector industries. According to data collected from the Bureau of Labor Statistics report, manufacturing employers have reported 2,000 employees who have suffered from work-related amputations in 2013.

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