Fifty-seven percent of the reported workplace amputations in 2015 occurred in the manufacturing industry, leading OSHA to launch an enforcement initiative in four U.S. states.
The agency announced a “heightened focus” on amputation hazards in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, with a goal to hold more employers responsible and enforce safety regulations.
Last year, OSHA received reports of more than 2,600 amputations nationwide. Machine guarding landed in the eighth spot on the agency’s most cited violations in 2016, something the agency says contributes directly to most amputation causes. Lockout/tagout citations were in the number five spot.
"Our focus on amputation hazards reminds employers that safety and health should remain a top priority," said Kelly C. Knighton, regional administrator for OSHA 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."
Companies in industries with workers who are exposed to machinery that could cause amputation hazards will be targeted with enforcement. The agency’s safety and health inspectors will evaluate operations, working conditions, recordkeeping and safety and health programs to ensure compliance.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742). Additional information is available by contacting OSHA's Dallas Regional Office at 972-850-4145.