OSHA 'surge' to focus on reducing amputations

by MEAT+POULTRY Staff
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DALLAS – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced plans to launch targeted enforcement activities in several states aimed at reducing amputations in the manufacturing industries. Employers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas will be under heightened scrutiny for amputation hazards.

Enforcement activities will start with a targeted enforcement phase, including on-site inspections and a review of employers in industries with machinery that exposes workers to amputation hazards. Additionally, federal safety and health inspectors will evaluate operations, working conditions, recordkeeping and safety and health programs for compliance.

“Our focus on amputation hazards reminds employers that safety and health should remain a top priority,” Kelly C. Knighton, regional administrator for OSHA, said in a statement. “We can only hope that the focus on this issue will reduce the potential for continued worker exposure to unguarded machines and equipment.”

According to OSHA, amputations cause 1,400 serious injuries each year. In 2015, the agency received reports of more than 2,600 amputations nationwide with 57 percent of injuries suffered by manufacturing workers. To stem the rise of amputations, OSHA immediately will conduct a surge of planned inspections, and area offices will continue to open inspections in response to complaints, hospitalizations and fatalities.

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