OSHA Updates Program to Focus on Preventing Amputations in Manufacturing

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Amputations are among the most devastating workplace injuries that occur in industrial and manufacturing industries. They can cause severe physical and emotional trauma to the injured worker and, depending on the nature of the injury, prevent the worker from returning to work. Many of these injuries are preventable if employers make safety a priority by ensuring that all equipment is properly maintained, and that workers are trained on all aspects of the machine, including operating, cleaning, and lockout/tagout procedures. Workers’ Compensation benefits are available for any employee who suffers an amputation injury as a result of a workplace accident.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) updated its National Emphasis Programs (NEP) to reduce the number of amputation injuries that occur in industries with high employer-reported amputation statistics. One of the most common reasons why workers are seriously injured when operating a piece of equipment is because the machinery was not properly guarded or maintained. The NEP is specifically targeting manufacturing industries because they typically have machinery that can cause severe injuries, including amputations.

NEPs are temporary programs that set aside a portion of OSHA’s resources to address certain hazards that occur in high-hazard industries. OSHA uses inspection data, injury and illness data, peer-reviewed literature, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports, analysis of inspection findings, and other resources to evaluate existing programs, and develop innovative, new programs. The last time the NEP was updated was in 2015.

Industries Included in Enhanced Inspection Regime

The following industries are known for having the most injuries caused by unguarded or improperly guarded machinery or equipment:

  • Meat and poultry processing facilities
  • Bakeries
  • Wood facilities
  • Plastics and steel manufacturing facilities

OSHA compliance officers will be responsible for determining the level of employee exposure during the following procedures, while paying close attention to exposure to nip points, pinch points, shear points, cutting actions, and other points of operation:

  • Setup
  • Operation of the machine
  • Clearing machine jams
  • Adjusting while the machine is operating
  • Cleaning the machine
  • Oiling or greasing the machine, or machine pans
  • Scheduled or unscheduled maintenance
  • Lockout/Tagout

Manufacturing and industrial employers have a responsibility to provide a safe work environment for all employees. That means ensuring that they meet all OSHA obligations regarding machine guarding and lockout/tagout, as well as making sure that employees receive the appropriate training on all necessary procedures related to the proper use of the machine.

Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Maximum Compensation for Victims of Amputation Injuries

If you or someone you know suffered an amputation injury while on the job, it is in your best interest to contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton at your earliest convenience. We understand how devastating these injuries are and we will work tirelessly to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the maximum financial benefits you deserve for your injuries. We will not stop fighting for you until you are completely satisfied. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online. Located in Baltimore, we serve clients throughout Maryland.