In an effort to reduce the more than 2,600 workplace amputations that take place in the U.S. each year, OSHA is directing its attention toward manufacturing operations in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas workplaces.

Approximately 57 percent of the amputation injuries suffered by workers in 2015 occurred in the manufacturing industry. Most often, amputations occur when workers operate machines without proper or adequately safety guards.

Starts right away

The agency will begin its heightened focus on amputation hazards in those states immediately, with a targeted enforcement phase, including a surge of on-site inspections and a review of employers in industries with machinery that exposes workers to amputation hazards.

The push also means that federal safety and health inspectors will evaluate operations, working conditions, recordkeeping and safety and health programs to ensure compliance.

Reducing exposure

"We can only hope that the focus on this issue will reduce the potential for continued worker exposure to unguarded machines and equipment," said Kelly C. Knighton, regional administrator for OSHA.

Area offices will continue with business as usual, opening inspections in response to complaints, hospitalizations and fatalities.