The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released an updated National Emphasis Program (NEP) to focus enforcement efforts on amputation hazards in manufacturing industries. It replaces the previous NEP, released in August 2015, which had expired on September 30, 2019. The new NEP will expire on December 10, 2024.
The new NEP streamlines the older version into a more concise document. The enforcement process is unchanged; the new NEP does not add any new wrinkles or details on how inspectors will go about conducting an inspection. One new surprise, however, is that Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) status will no longer exempt an employer’s worksite from an NEP inspection.
OSHA’s Office of Statistical Analysis will provide the area offices with software and a database to conduct cycles of programmed inspections. The software presumably produces a list of all covered establishments within the area office’s jurisdiction. From there, the area office has the discretion to inspect all establishments on its list, or less than all establishments on its list. If the area office chooses the latter, the software will produce a randomly-generated partial list of establishments. For example, if the area office chooses to inspect 10 of the 25 establishments on its list, the software will supposedly pick 10 establishments via a random number generator and produce the list. The area office must then inspect those 10 establishments before it can conduct a programmed inspection of any other manufacturing establishments on the list. This only applies to programmed (random) OSHA inspections. If an employer had already been inspected but incurred an amputation incident afterward, OSHA can still open an accident inspection into the recent incident. While the new NEP does not formally provide a time frame in which to conduct these programmed inspections, OSHA’s performance evaluation metrics provide a strong incentive for the area offices to complete these cycles within a fiscal year.
Does the new NEP change anything from the old NEP? Yes. Namely, which establishments will be selected for amputation inspections in manufacturing. OSHA has deployed a new methodology in generating the list of covered industries for the new NEP.
The old NEP selected manufacturing industries with “significant inspection histories” (40 or more federal inspections in the past 8 years), “high BLS rates” (10.0 or greater incident rate for amputations in any given year), and “high BLS numbers” (50 or more amputations per year) to come up with a list of 80 targeted manufacturing industries.
The new NEP tweaks two of the old three criteria (“high OIS inspection numbers” now means 40 or more federal inspections in the past 4 years, not 8 years; “high BLS rates” now means a 7.5 of greater incident rate for amputations in a given year, not 10.0) and added a fourth: manufacturing industries that reported 25 or more amputations to federal OSHA in a calendar year from 2015–2018. The new NEP came up with 75 targeted manufacturing industries.
Industries Covered by the New NEP and the Old NEP
New Industries Targeted by the New NEP
Industries Targeted Under the Old NEP but Not the New NEP
|311411||Frozen Fruit, Juice, and Vegetable Manufacturing|
|311412||Frozen Specialty Food Manufacturing|
|322220||Paper Bag and Coated and Treated Paper Manufacturing|
|323111||Commercial Printing (Except Screen and Books)|
|323113||Commercial Screen Printing|
|326111||Plastics Bag and Pouch Manufacturing|
|326112||Plastics Packaging Film and Sheet (Including Laminated) Manufacturing|
|326113||Unlaminated Plastics Film and Sheet (Except Packaging) Manufacturing|
|326150||Urethane and Other Foam Product (Except Polystyrene) Manufacturing|
|326160||Plastics Bottle Manufacturing|
|327320||Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing|
|327390||Other Concrete Product Manufacturing|
|331491||Nonferrous Metal (Except Copper and Aluminum) Rolling, Drawing, and Extruding|
|331492||Secondary Smelting, Refining, and Alloying of Nonferrous Metal (Except Copper)|
|333111||Farm Machinery and Equipment Manufacturing|
|333112||Lawn and Garden Tractor and Home Lawn and Garden Equipment Manufacturing|
|333611||Turbine and Turbine Generator Set Units Manufacturing|
|333612||Speed Changer, Industrial High-Speed Drive, and Gear Manufacturing|
|333613||Mechanical Power Transmission Equipment Manufacturing|
|333618||Other Engine Equipment Manufacturing|
|334510||Electromedical and Electrotherapeutic Apparatus Manufacturing|
|334511||Search, Detection, Navigation, Guidance, Aeronautical, and Nautical System|
|334512||Automatic Environmental Control Manufacturing for Residential, Commercial|
|334513||Instruments and Related Products Manufacturing for Measuring, Displaying|
|334514||Totalizing Fluid Meter and Counting Device Manufacturing|
|334515||Instrument Manufacturing for Measuring and Testing Electricity and Electrical|
|334516||Analytical Laboratory Instrument Manufacturing|
|334517||Irradiation Apparatus Manufacturing|
|334519||Other Measuring and Controlling Device Manufacturing|
|337121||Upholstered Household Furniture Manufacturing|
|337122||Nonupholstered Wood Household Furniture Manufacturing|
|337124||Metal Household Furniture Manufacturing|
|337125||Household Furniture (Except Wood and Metal) Manufacturing|
|337127||Institutional Furniture Manufacturing|
The new NEP reshuffles the targeted manufacturing industries, but for many employers accustomed to amputation inspections from OSHA in the past, they can expect more of the same. Even employers in NAICS code industries no longer included in the new NEP may want to keep in mind that businesses can have more than one NAICS code any may still be covered by the new NEP. Ready-mix concrete manufacturers, for example, may be off the new NEP, but if they have any concrete brick, block, or pipe manufacturing operations, they are back on the NEP under a different industry code. Ultimately, the NEP gives area offices considerable discretion in how much effort to devote to enforcement.