RISK INSIGHT: OSHA Updates National Emphasis Program (NEP) for Manufacturing

On December 10, 2019, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it has updated the National Emphasis Program (NEP) regarding amputations in manufacturing industries. The goal of this NEP is to reduce or eliminate workplace hazards associated with amputations in manufacturing industries.

NEP focus

This directive allows OSHA to proactively create a randomized list of establishments in the manufacturing sector which can be subject to inspections per the guidelines of the NEP. The NEP targets industrial and manufacturing worksites where employees are injured by unguarded or improperly guarded machines and/or equipment.

This NEP’s focus and activities are not designed to create new obligations for employers.

The directive includes a three-month period of education and prevention outreach. During this introduction, OSHA will continue normal response to complaints, referrals, hospitalizations and fatalities.

During inspections under the NEP, compliance officers will focus on:

  • Machines being guarded 100%
  • Control of hazardous energy program being in place – this equates to a 100 percent lockout tagout
  • Minor servicing exception tasks being safeguarded or locked out at 100 percent

Enforcement of this NEP will begin on March 10, 2020.

Takeaway:

Employers in the manufacturing sector should be aware of and review the details of this updated NEP from OSHA. While the NEP is not designed to create new obligations for employers, it is important to understand OSHA guidelines and ways you can avoid workplace hazards.

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