November 1, 2016
DALLAS – For manufacturing industry workers, amputation is serious risk and the cause of more than a 1,400 serious injuries each year. In 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration received reports of more than 2,600 amputations nationwide – 57 percent of them suffered by manufacturing workers.
Most often, amputations occur when workers operate machines without proper or adequately safety guards.
In an effort to stem the tide, OSHA announced today a heightened focus on amputation hazards in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. The goal is to enforce safety regulations and hold employers responsible for protecting workers and reducing instances of worker amputations.
“Our focus on amputation hazards reminds employers that safety and health should remain a top priority,” said Kelly C. Knighton, regional administrator for OSHA. “We can only hope that the focus on this issue will reduce the potential for continued worker exposure to unguarded machines and equipment.”
The push begins with a targeted enforcement phase, including on-site inspections and a review of employers in industries with machinery that exposes workers to amputation hazards. Federal safety and health inspectors will evaluate operations, working conditions, recordkeeping and safety and health programs to ensure compliance.
OSHA will conduct a surge of planned inspections immediately. Area offices will continue to open inspections in response to complaints, hospitalizations and fatalities.
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.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.