The Safety Brief logo
The Safety Brief In our podcasts we give short but valuable overviews
and insights into how contractors and safety managers
can be even more effective in protecting their workers.
In our podcasts we give short but valuable overviews and insights into how contractors and safety managers can be even more effective in protecting their workers.

6 Ways To Prevent Workplace Amputations

Workplace amputations are in the spotlight at OSHA. They’ve updated their National Emphasis Program on Amputations. Hear about best practices to avoid them.

Some industries have over double the number of amputations compared to industry norms. In this podcast, Dan Clark shares six tips to keep workers protected from losing a finger, leg or arm.


intro music and effects

Dan Clark: Your job shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. OSHA’s amping up their concern for workplace amputations.

Hi, I’m Dan Clark with The Safety Brief. We tackle health and safety hazards in today’s demanding industrial and construction worksites, a service of Creative Safety Supply.

OSHA, in August, updated its National Emphasis Program for Amputations. The program was started in 2006 but some industries have had an amputation rate that’s over twice that of all private industry.

Workers are at a high risk of amputations when operating mechanical power presses, conveyors, printing presses, food slicers, meat grinders, milling machines, sheers, saws, drill presses and, well, you get the idea.

6_Ways_To_Prevent_Workplace_Amputations-Creative_Safety_Supply-250x302Here are 6 Ways To Prevent Workplace Amputations, starting with the two primary techniques, guards and devices.

1. Guards, or machine guards. They’re physical barriers that prevent people from getting too close to hazards. Manufacturers can often provide the guards if they’re lost, broken or didn’t come with one. OSHA also has plenty of information.

2. Devices. These prevent human contact with points of operation. An example: A laser sensor that shuts down a machine when a finger gets too close.

3. Training. All staff should know how to safely use dangerous equipment.

4. Don’t bypass safeguards. The shortcut a worker takes could cut off an arm, leg or finger.

5. Don’t allow workers under 18 to use the machines that bite.

6_Ways_To_Prevent_Workplace_Amputations-Creative_Safety_Supply-250x3506. Lockout/tagout. Implement a LOTO program. Lockout/tagout prevents people from trying to fix a machine or clear a jam while it’s operating. It also stops the accidental startup of machinery during maintenance.

OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on workplace amputations is ongoing.

Also remember, employers must now report all amputations to OSHA within 24 hours, according to updated reporting guidelines that when in effect January 1, 2015.

That’s all for this episode, 6 Ways To Prevent Workplace Amputations. Join me again for more ways to stay safety compliant in today’s ever-changing landscape of safety requirements. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, a service of Creative Safety Supply. Save 10 percent off your entire order at with coupon code BIG10.


OSHA information on workplace amputations: Fact Sheet and QuickCard.

Warehouse image 2010 by the U.S Dept. Of Energy; lockout/tagout LOTO image © 2005 iStockPhoto LP / braclark

sounds provided by and