WASHINGTON — The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has updated its efforts to focus on workplace amputations during factory inspections and making sure machinery is properly guarded and maintained.
OSHA, part of the U.S. Department of Labor, will roll out a three-month period of education and outreach through March 10, for the National Emphasis Program, which updates the 2015 NEP on amputations.
According to OSHA, NEP gives updated guidance for agency enforcement and does not create any new obligations to employers. Manufacturing companies already are responsible for ensuring that production equipment is properly safeguarded to prevent worker amputations and other injuries.
The updated NEP revises 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 Codes.
OSHA defines amputation as the loss of all or part of a limb or other external body part, including fingertip amputations with or without bone loss. Employers must report all amputation events to OSHA.
"Operating machinery or equipment can be extremely dangerous when it is not properly guarded or maintained," OSHA said in an executive summary of the updated NEP. "Injuries involving machinery or equipment often result in death or permanent disability. OSHA's enforcement history shows that employees performing servicing and maintenance on machinery or equipment are often injured when no machine guarding is present."
OSHA disclosed the updates on Dec. 17.