By Brent I. Clark, Kay R. Bonza, and Craig B. Simonsen

Seyfarth Synopsis:  OSHA recently updated its National Emphasis Program on Amputations in Manufacturing Industries (NEP), adding a targeting methodology for industries with high employer-reported amputation statistics. Instruction CPL 03-00-022 (Dec. 10, 2019).

We had previously blogged about the previous 2015 update, OSHA Updates Emphasis Program on Amputations – Cites Employer and Places It on Severe Violators List.

National Emphasis Program on Amputations

The updated NEP targets industrial and manufacturing workplaces where employees are injured by unguarded or improperly guarded machinery and equipment. The NEP lists 75 NAICS code industries that will fall under the enhanced inspection regime, from meat and poultry processing facilities, to bakeries, to wood, plastics, and steel manufacturing facilities and more.

According to the Agency, the updated NEP:

  • Revises targeting methodology to include data from amputation reporting requirements;
  • Revises coding requirements for amputation inspections in the OSHA Information System; and
  • Adds new appendices on amputations targeting methodology and North American Industry Classification System codes.

OSHA compliance officers are instructed to evaluate employee exposure during setup, regular operation of the machine, clearing jams or upset conditions, making adjustments while the machine is operating, cleaning of the machine, oiling or greasing of the machine or machine pans, scheduled/unscheduled maintenance, and locking out and/or tagging out.  Inspections will pay “particular attention to employee exposure to nip points, pinch points, shear points, cutting actions, and other points of operation.”

Like before, OSHA will continue to select for inspection those industries that have received OSHA citations under the lockout/tagout standard (1910.147) and machine guarding standards (1910.212, 1910.213, 1910.217 and 1910.219).  OSHA will also pull from industries with high Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) incidence rates for nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses involving days away from work, and NAICS codes with 50 or more amputations per year.  The revised NEP notes that OSHA will now also select industries based on employer-reported amputations.

The updated emphasis program provides a “three-month period of education and prevention outreach,”  which will run until March 10, 2020.  During this period, OSHA intends to continue to respond to complaints, referrals, hospitalizations and fatalities.  New enforcement activities will begin after the outreach period and remain in effect until canceled.  OSHA-approved State Plans are expected to have enforcement procedures that are at least as effective as those in the agency’s directive.

For manufacturing employers, it is essential that management review and understand their obligations under OSHA’s machine guarding and lockout/tagout requirements, including utilizing effective machine guarding and energy control procedures and ensuring that employees are appropriately trained on these procedures.  A proactive review of existing machine guarding methods and safeguards will go a long way towards being prepared when OSHA shows up for a programmed, planned inspection.

For more information on this or any related topic, please contact the authors, your Seyfarth attorney, or any member of the Workplace Safety and Health (OSHA/MSHA) Team.