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OSHA to step up inspections for amputation risks

New Jersey workers may face serious safety risks on the job, especially if they operate heavy machinery. Federal standards for workplace safety are issued and enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which has announced a three-month period of outreach and education in workplaces across the country for a National Emphasis Program that will focus on the risk of amputation to limbs or fingers for factory workers. The 2019-2020 initiative comes five years after the last OSHA program focusing on amputations in 2015.

Workplace safety inspections at factories will focus on ensuring that machinery is properly guarded and secured during operation and repair in order to prevent the amputation of workers' limbs or digits when operating these devices. The program does not alter existing rules for workplace safety and properly guarded, but it does give new guidelines to inspectors to focus on these concerns while reviewing factories. Companies in the manufacturing industry are already required to install proper safeguards and equipment to protect workers from severe accidents and injuries of this type. Inspectors will seek more data about amputations in a facility and code reports and inspections differently when reviewing a factory's compliance with OSHA regulations.

According to the agency, an amputation is the loss of part or all of a limb or other body part. Fingertip amputations are included in this total, even when the bone is not affected. Under federal regulations, all amputations at work must be reported to OSHA by employers. The agency warned that workers face a risk of death or permanent disability when operating certain types of machinery.

Unfortunately, some workplaces fail to abide by OSHA regulations, leaving workers with an even higher risk of severe injuries on the job. A lawyer may help injured employees to seek compensation after a workplace accident.

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