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OSHA updates directive targeting amputation injuries

 Posted on August 20,2015 in Workplace Accidents

Workers in manufacturing and other industries in California and throughout the United States will receive additional support in the prevention of certain types of serious workplace injuries. Specifically, the Occupational Safety Health Agency has recently issued an updated version of its National Emphasis Program directive on amputations.

OSHA's directive calls on employers to better identify and work to eliminate serious hazards in the workplace. The directive targets general industry workplaces where machinery is present that is likely to cause amputations. These industries include machine shops, bakeries, sawmills, meat processing plants and other manufacturers of food products. Data reported to the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate these industries have the highest rates of amputations among workers.

Data from 2013 reveals that 2,000 workers suffered an amputation that year, with the manufacturing sector experiencing a rate of amputations more than double that of all private industry. According to OSHA, this sector had an amputation rate of 1.7 per 10,000 full-time employees in 2013, whereas private industry overall had only 0.7 amputations per 10,000 employees.

OSHA's directive focuses on unguarded equipment likely to cause injuries. Workplace inspections are to evaluate employee exposures to such machinery during operations, such as during the clearing of equipment jams and cleaning of components.

Employers have certain obligations to provide a workplace that protects employees from hazardous conditions and unsafe machinery, including power equipment accidents and injuries as well as other potential hazards. An employee who is injured on the job may want to consider seeking the advice of an attorney who can help determine the legal recourse that may be available.

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