December 17, 2019, OSHA issued an update to its’ National Emphasis Program (NEP) to focus agency inspections on amputation hazards in manufacturing industries. This directive (CPL 03-00-022) updates the 2015 NEP on amputations.

The NEP targets industrial and manufacturing workplaces for enforcement of machine guarding standards to reduce or eliminate amputation hazards. According to data from the BLS, 5,920 amputation injuries occurred among U.S. private-sector employees in 2018.

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 (until March 10, 2020); after that, enforcement activities will begin and remain in effect until cancelled. During this 90-day period, OSHA will continue to respond to complaints, fatalities, hospitalizations and referrals. OSHA-approved State Plans are expected to have enforcement procedures that are at least as effective as those in the agency’s directive.

Employers are already responsible for ensuring machines are properly safeguarded to prevent worker amputations and other fatal injuries. If you need help, refer to OSHA’s Machine Guarding webpage. You’ll find:

  • compliance assistance resources to help you identify amputation hazards
  • Required procedures to properly guard stationary and portable machines.

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