Amputation Rate Remains Same

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 @ 02:09 PM gHale


There are seven reported amputations a day at U.S. workplaces, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) severe injury analysis.

While that is not great news, one aspect is those reports are leading to inspections, citations, and agreements with employers to make changes that will protect workers from injury.

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An analysis of the first full year of the requirement, under which employers must report any worker’s hospitalization or amputation, showed 2,644 amputations ended up reported in 2015.

So far this year, as of July 31, OSHA received 1,500 amputation reports. The rate works out to be about 7 amputations per day for both years, according to the report.

Some resulting inspections found pervasive violations at worksites, but as part of a settlement process, employers have agreed to make extensive worksite improvements.

Schwan’s Global Supply Chain created a comprehensive safety and health program for all its facilities nationwide, and hired a professional to run it, after two workers suffered amputations in less than three months. Schwan faced fines over $172,000.

Similarly, Ohio Gasket & Shim Company agreed to use OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program and implement a comprehensive safety and health program, along with other specific improvements, after a worker lost three fingers in an unguarded machine press. Ohio Gasket faced fines of $103,600.

“In case after case, the prompt reporting of worker injuries has created opportunities to work with employers that we wouldn’t have had otherwise,” said OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels. “The result is safer workplaces for thousands of workers.”