A new program from OSHA aimed at reducing amputations in general industry workplaces will target all types of power presses, including press brakes, saws, shears, slicers and slitters.

The National Emphasis Program on Hazardous Machinery Associated With Amputations expands the existing national emphasis program on mechanical power presses. The new program applies to general industry workplaces where these machines are present and includes companies with fewer than ten employees, except in those industries exempted from programmed inspections.

OSHA Administrator John L. Henshaw says the new program will help the agency identify and guard against the workplace hazards that are likely to cause amputations.

Calculating amputation rates will change, as rates for each industry will be figured using the number of employees in each SIC code. Previously, industries were targeted by the number of amputations, not taking into consideration the actual size of the industry. This will allow greater flexibility for regions and area offices to target and inspect the most hazardous workplaces.

The 24 states and two territories that operate their own OSHA programs are encouraged, but not required, to adopt a similar emphasis program.