WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Department of Labor’s 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 2015 NEP on amputations.
The NEP targets industrial and manufacturing workplaces where employees are injured by unguarded or improperly guarded machinery and equipment. NEPs focus agency enforcement activity and do not create any new obligation to employers.
The updated NEP:
- 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.
The emphasis program includes a three-month period of education and prevention outreach, which will run until 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 remain in effect until canceled. OSHA-approved State Plans are expected to have enforcement procedures that are at least as effective as those in this instruction.
Employers are already responsible for ensuring machines are properly safeguarded to prevent worker 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.