OSHA pledges to step up inspections over amputation risks

| Dec 30, 2019 | Workplace Injury |

Texas companies may present a serious threat to their employees if they fail to take proper steps to guard equipment. Machinery used in the manufacturing process can lead to catastrophic injuries and even fatalities from a range of workplace accidents. While the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration issues and enforces regulations for workplace safety, workers can suffer severe effects if these guidelines are not implemented by employers. One issue of particular concern to OSHA is the risk of amputations on the job for workers operating equipment in a factory setting.

The agency defines amputations as the loss of a limb or other external body part by a worker on the job, including fingertip amputations that do not affect the bone. If an amputation takes place due to a workplace accident, employers must report the incident to OSHA. The federal agency announced that it will be launching a National Emphasis Program on amputations, updating its previous inspection guidelines issued in 2015. Between December 2019 and March 2020, the agency will focus on education and outreach for employers in the manufacturing sector.

OSHA emphasized that it is not changing the workplace safety regulations related to amputations. Employers are already responsible under the law for ensuring that factory equipment and machinery has proper guards and protections installed. They must ensure that machines used in production are safeguarded in order to avoid amputations. In upcoming factory inspections, OSHA inspectors will focus on safety rules related to amputations to ensure their implementation and provide greater tracking of concerns.

Workers face the risk of severe injuries on the job, especially when dealing with heavy equipment in a factory setting or when OSHA regulations are not followed. Injured workers may consult with a workers’ compensation attorney about their options to secure the benefits they deserve.