OSHA has issued an updated National Emphasis Program (NEP) that signifies the agency’s intent to focus inspections on identifying amputation hazards in manufacturing industry facilities. The NEP, which was first issued in 2015, specifically targets industrial and manufacturing workplaces where employees are injured by unguarded or improperly guarded machinery and equipment.

About NEPs

NEPs are temporary programs that focus OSHA's resources on particular hazards and high-hazard industries. Existing and potential new emphasis programs are evaluated using inspection data, injury and illness data, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports, peer-reviewed literature, analysis of inspection findings, and other available information sources.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, 5,920 employees in the U.S. suffered work-related amputation injuries in 2018. OSHA’s enforcement history shows that employees performing servicing and maintenance on machinery or equipment are often injured – sometimes fatally - when no machine guarding is present.

Significant changes in the NEP:

• Revises the coding requirements for all OSHA amputation inspections in the OSHA Information Systems (OIS);

• Revises the targeting methodology to include data from the amputation reporting requirement under 29 CFR § 1904.39;

• Removes Appendix A – Machinery and Equipment from the previous NEP on amputations;

• Removes Appendix B – Related American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Standards from the previous NEP;

• Adds a new Appendix A – Amputations Targeting Methodology; and

• Adds a new Appendix B – Covered North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Codes.

The emphasis program went into effect on Dec. 10, 2019. Enforcement activities related to it will continue until canceled. OSHA-approved State Plans are expected to have enforcement procedures that are at least as effective as those in this instruction.