The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) collects workplace injury data from thousands of employers each year. This data is used by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other organizations to target specific industries and causes of loss. Unfortunately, this data shows us that workplace amputations continue to plague U.S. employers. Each year, thousands of workers lose a limb in situations that are largely preventable.
In an effort to reduce the frequency of amputations, OSHA issued a new requirement in 2015 that requires employers to report severe injuries. These severe injuries include in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, or loss of an eye and they must be reported within 24 hours. Based on the circumstances of the incident, OSHA may choose to investigate the severe injury or amputation further. OSHA provided additional support to their compliance officers by issuing a national emphasis program (NEP) on amputations for manufacturing companies in the summer of 2015. The NEP gives compliance officers additional authority to respond to employee complaints and to investigate injuries. Since that time, OSHA’s machine guarding standard 1910.212 has remained on OSHA’s list of top 10 most frequently cited standards.
OSHA has published several machine guarding articles on their website and they have made the NEP directive available for employers to review. The compliance directive provides a list of target industries which are broken down by NAICS code. The directive also outlines OSHA’s inspection procedures and it provides a list of machinery and equipment that is most often associated with amputations.
If you’re wondering where to get started, here are a few quick tips that can help you get a better understanding of machine guarding at your facility:
Nick assists clients with their day-to-day risk management and safety needs.
Nick assists clients with their day-to-day risk management and safety needs. He provides OSHA compliance assistance, DOT and fleet safety management, facility safety and health audits, and safety committee development. These initiatives have helped clients reduce workplace injuries and ensure regulatory compliance. In addition to his role in loss control, Nick is a passionate claims advocate. He monitors and negotiates large, complex property, liability and workers’ compensation claims with the insurance companies and independent claims adjusters. He also assists with the information exchange between contractors or occupational medicine teams, insurance adjusters, employee claimants, and client contacts. This daily claims management provides tighter reserves, more proactive risk management with all affected parties and, in the case of a workers’ compensation claim, earlier return to work and expense reductions.
If you could give human form to your safety culture, what would it look like?
Maybe it would be a thick-set, shirtless brute named Trog with a foul disposition beating out a drum cadence to keep your employees rowing in-sync.
Or would it be more like a fussy and constantly disapproving Dickensian paper-pusher named Fizzlewhite who has never met a rule or procedure he didn’t like, even though he hasn’t done most of the things he creates rules to address?
If you were to search the various “mommy blogs” and parenting advice websites out there, how many of them do you think would endorse the following practice?
A child’s safety should always be a top priority for any parent. When leaving children under the age of 10 alone in the house for lengthy periods of time, be sure to provide the kids with a loaded pistol with the safety off in case a stranger should happen by. In a pinch, recently sharpened knives can be substituted for the pistol.
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