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Minnesota OSHA sees increase in reports of amputations

Machine guarding, training help prevent injuries

Posted June 20, 2019

Minnesota’s Department of Labor and Industry says it has received an increase in reports of amputations. For the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2018, Minnesota OSHA (MNOSHA) Compliance has received 15 reports of amputations. Many of these amputations have been to workers’ hands and fingers.

MNOSHA urges employers to take immediate steps to assess and reassess amputation hazards and risks in their workplaces and take needed corrective action to eliminate them. The Agency also encourages employers to redouble their efforts to train employees how to perform tasks safely.

Amputations are most common when employees operate unguarded or inadequately safeguarded machinery, mechanical equipment, and power tools. The proper installation of guards and devices to help prevent contact points with employees can be beneficial in preventing workplace amputation injuries. Proper training and safety information regarding the machines is also vital to employee safety.

Since 2015, Minnesota employers have been required to report all accidents resulting in any amputation to MNOSHA Compliance within 24 hours. The Agency says it now investigates an average of 13 amputation serious injuries each year.

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