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OSHA launches amputation prevention initiative in four states

November 7, 2016

Dallas – OSHA has launched an enforcement initiative to emphasize the prevention of amputation hazards among workers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, the agency announced Nov. 1.

Starting immediately, inspectors will examine operations, working conditions, recordkeeping, and safety and health programs in these states for compliance, the agency stated. OSHA also will look at employers in industries using machinery that can be hazardous to workers.

The goal of the initiative is to “enforce safety regulations and hold employers responsible for protecting workers and reducing instances of worker amputations.”

Each year, amputations cause more than 1,400 serious injuries, according to OSHA. In 2015, the agency received reports of more than 2,600 amputations nationwide, with 57 percent occurring among manufacturing workers. Typically, workers are operating machines without proper or adequate safety guards when an amputation occurs.

“Our focus on amputation hazards reminds employers that safety and health should remain a top priority,” OSHA regional administrator Kelly C. Knighton said in a press release.

OSHA area offices will continue to conduct new inspections in response to complaints, hospitalizations and deaths.