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Amputations National Emphasis Program updated by OSHA

Many Colorado workers as well as their employers need to be aware of the updates the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently issued revising their policies and procedures for the implementation of the amputations National Emphasis Program. The updates include a list of businesses that have the highest number of amputations and thus that may be targeted for inspection.

According to OSHA, the businesses with the highest amputation rates include sawmills, retail and commercial bakeries, machine shops, food manufacturers and meat processing plants. Using data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, OSHA indicated that the rate of amputations for workers in the manufacturing sector was more than twice that of private sector industries in the aggregate.

Reportedly, the inspections will be focused on activities such as employees clearing jams from machinery, employees that are maintaining or repairing machines and employees that are responsible for locking down machines to prevent automatic starts. OSHA advised employers to carefully evaluate their worksites to identify all potential areas and machines that pose a risk of amputation to their workers. The agency also advised employers to not leave equipment or machinery unguarded and to implement safety policies and training programs that address the risk of amputation.

People who suffer a workplace injury may be left with a lifelong disabling condition, rendering them unable to work in the future. Most employers are required by state law to carry workers' compensation insurance coverage. An eligible employee who is injured on the job may choose to file a claim for benefits thereunder. Through a claim, the victim may be able to recover benefits to pay for current and future expected medical expenses and treatment needs. Many in this situation find the assistance of an attorney to be helpful throughout the process.

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