blog home Workers Compensation OSHA Cracks Down on Amputation Risks in the Manufacturing Industry

By Renee Nordstrand on May 15, 2020

row of hard hats hanging on a wall

A job in the manufacturing industry is one of the most dangerous occupations you can have. The heavy machinery and difficult labor make injuries very likely, if not inevitable. That’s why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released a new initiative to help minimize amputation injuries in the manufacturing industry.

The Dangers of Manufacturing Jobs

When working in a factory, employees operate a variety of machines, whether they’re making cars or textiles. These machines involve a lot of moving parts and exert an incredible amount of force. If proper safety measures aren’t taken, it’s incredibly easy for a worker to lose a finger or even an entire limb.

In its initiative, OSHA points out several areas of danger, such as parts of machines that rotate, sharp edges, and nip and pinch points. These areas, in particular, are hazards for amputation injuries. An arm can easily be crushed or severed if there are no guard shields in the way to protect the worker.

Apart from just amputations, manufacturing jobs are also hotbeds for other kinds of accidents. The top four workplace hazards, dubbed the “fatal four” by OSHA, are:

  • Falls: 33.5% of all workplace accidents
  • Being struck by an object: 11.1% of all workplace accidents
  • Electrocutions: 8.5% of all workplace accidents
  • Being caught in or between machines: 5.5% of all workplace accidents

OSHA has regulations designed to prevent all of those accidents, but it is now focusing more attention on amputation injuries, which are a common result of workers getting caught in or between machines. Given how often workers seem to become stuck in a machine, it makes perfect sense that OSHA has decided to begin putting emphasis on preventing such debilitating injuries.

Updates to the NEP

The new initiative focuses primarily on the National Emphasis Program (NEP). The NEP is meant to assist employers with finding and then eliminating any and all workplace hazards created by machines or other manufacturing equipment. By updating the NEP, OSHA is taking another step towards ensuring that all manufacturer workers are safe while on the job.

Some of the new updates to the NEP include:

  • A new targeting method to make sure that data from amputation reports are both included and required
  • A revision to the coding requirements for amputation inspections in the OSHA Information System
  • Additional appendices and targeting methods used for the codes of the North American Industry Classification System

These additions and new methods will allow OSHA to keep a closer eye on the number of amputation injuries in certain factories, as well as the ability to fix any safety issues that they notice as a result.

The initiative also includes three months of education and prevention outreach for employers and employees through March 10th, 2020.

Amputation injuries are devastating and complicated. They can completely change your life and leave you unable to enjoy the everyday activities that may have once occupied your life. If you or a loved one have suffered an amputation injury that wasn’t your fault, reach out to NordstrandBlack PC at (805) 962-2022. We will determine the at-fault party to help get you the compensation you deserve.