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OSHA’s Little Rock, Arkansas Area Office Holds Stand-Down to Prevent Amputations


In response to a high number of workplace amputations in Arkansas, OSHA’s Little Rock, Arkansas Area Office worked with the Arkansas Consultation Program and other organizations to hold a stand-down event in September 2015 to raise awareness of amputation hazards. As a result of the stand-down, 16,451 participants received amputation awareness training, 2,723 self-audits were conducted, 3,380 hazards were identified, and 7,416 workers were removed from identified amputation hazards.

"We're gratified that so many employers and workers came away from this event with a better understanding of amputation hazards and how to correct them before they cause a permanent, debilitating injury. We tripled our projected goals regarding the number of persons trained and number of persons removed from identified hazards."

Carlos Reynolds, OSHA's Area Director in Little Rock

"With the support of the Arkansas VPP/SHARP Association and the joint effort of the Little Rock Area Office and the Arkansas Consultation Program, the participation in this Amputation Prevention Stand-down was unparalleled,"

Clark Thomas, Arkansas Department of Labor’s State Consultation Division Manager

Since OSHA revised its reporting requirements on January 1, 2015 to require employers to report all workplace amputations to OSHA within 24 hours, the Little Rock Area Office received 52 reports of amputations as of September 30, 2015. Amputations are debilitating workplace injuries that often happen when workers must operate mechanical machinery without the proper guards or training.

The Little Rock Area Office responded by sending letters in July and August 2015 to companies in industries whose workers may be exposed to amputation hazards. The letters informed the companies of the new reporting requirements, OSHA’s National Emphasis on Amputations, and the events planned in Arkansas to raise awareness of this issue.

After holding stakeholder meetings with affected Arkansas companies, the Little Rock Area Office, the Arkansas State Department of Labor Consultation Division, the University of Texas at Arlington OSHA Education Center, and the Northwest Arkansas Community College worked together to hold an Arkansas Amputation Prevention Stand-Down from September 14-29, 2015. The purpose of the Stand-Down was to raise awareness of amputation hazards in general industry and construction. During the past several years, OSHA’s general machine guarding standard, 1910.212(a)(1), has been the most frequently cited standard in inspections conducted by OSHA’s Little Rock Area Office.

The Little Rock Area Office and other organizations extensively promoted the stand-down using social media, emails, radio, television, an OSHA news release, and other avenues. The Little Rock Area Office worked with iHeartMedia to get a public service announcement about the stand-down on several local radio stations. Area Director Carlos Reynolds conducted interviews with the local National Public Radio station and several statewide television stations.

The kick-off event was held on September 15, 2015, at the Northwest Arkansas Community College. The free event featured a presentation on amputation hazard recognition by Carlos Munson, an instructor from the University of Texas at Arlington OSHA Education Center; an Amputation Update by Area Director Carlos Reynolds; a video produced by Arkansas companies discussing amputation hazards and safe work practices; a video interview with an amputee who spoke about how it affected his life and the lives of loved ones and co-workers; and a presentation by David Bithel of Cargill Meat Solutions, which sponsored the event.

Over 120 people attended the kick-off event, including representatives from the Area Office’s VPP companies, Strategic Partnership participants, and Alliance Program participants. The Area Office encouraged these participants and other stakeholders to go back to their facilities and hold their own stand-downs.

During the two weeks of Amputation Prevention Stand-Down, companies in Arkansas and other states held individual stand-downs during which workers received training in the hazards of amputations and the mitigation/elimination of the hazards. Companies from Arkansas, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, California, Missouri, Tennessee, Colorado, Florida, South Carolina, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Nevada also participated. Two stand-downs were held outside the United States in the countries of Uganda and Russia. The OSHA Little Rock Area Office and the Arkansas Department of Labor helped to facilitate and support individual events at locations throughout Arkansas during the stand-down time period.

After holding a stand-down, employers visited the stand-down webpage, created and managed by the University of Texas at Arlington, to enter the number of participants, number of self-audits conducted, number of hazards identified, and number of employees removed from hazards.

Amputation Prevention Stand-Down event at Nucor Yamato Steel Company in Blytheville, Arkansas.

Amputation Prevention Stand-Down event at Nucor Yamato Steel Company in Blytheville, Arkansas.

As of October 2015.

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