Many people in New Jersey work around machinery and manufacturing equipment in their jobs. When machinery or equipment is not maintained adequately or fitted with proper guards, workers who use it are at risk for amputation injuries. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an amputation is defined as the loss or partial loss of an external body part, including a fingertip even if there is no loss of bone.

On Dec. 17, OSHA announced new updates to the National Emphasis Program. The updates will focus on inspections of factory machinery in an effort to reduce the number of workplace amputations. As part of the new focus, OSHA will be providing outreach and education on the subject of workplace amputations until March 10.

Updates to the NEP do not mean that employers have any new obligations, but inspectors have been given updated guidance on what to look for. Inspectors following the updated NEP will have new coding requirements and new guidance on amputation risk assessments. Employers still have the same obligation to make sure that equipment is maintained and guarded to prevent workplace amputations.

Amputations are serious injuries that can permanently take away a person’s ability to perform their job. If a worker has suffered this type of injury on the job, the worker and their family may be able to claim lost future wages through workers’ compensation insurance. A lawyer may be able to help an injured worker and their family to purse the maximum in compensation by accurately documenting the full cost of the lost income.