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OSHA News Release - Table of Contents
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Feb. 1, 2016

OSHA's regional emphasis focuses on reducing illness, injury
at high-hazard manufacturing facilities in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri
Education and enforcement action to protect workers from industry's dangers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The increased likelihood that workers in high-hazard manufacturing industries - such as food, furniture, fabricated metal, nonmetallic mineral, machinery and computer products - will be injured on the job is leading federal safety and health inspectors in three Midwestern states to increase its focus on industry outreach and inspections to reduce injury and illness rates.

More than 340 workers died in fatal manufacturing incidents nationwide in 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

On Jan. 25, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched a new Regional Emphasis Program* in Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri. Regional and local emphasis programs are enforcement strategies designed to address high-risk industries; OSHA's regional and/or area offices implement the programs. Each begins with a three-month period of education and prevention outreach activities to share safety and health information with employers, associations and workers. OSHA encourages employers to use this period to bring their facilities into compliance with federal safety and health standards, if they are not already.

"Workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths are preventable when employers train workers and provide a safe and healthy work environment. This region-wide emphasis program provides 90 days of outreach and education to assist employers in high-hazard industries to eliminate hazards that can cause worker injuries and illnesses," said Marcia Drumm, regional administrator for OSHA. "The program will also re-direct OSHA's resources and increase the probability of inspections at establishments in high-hazard industries with more than 10 employees and those that have not had a comprehensive inspection since 2011."

OSHA prioritizes general industry inspections using the most recent BLS "Days Away, Restricted or Transferred" rates and its "Days Away From Work Injury and Illness" rates. Hazards related to lifting and other ergonomic stressors will also be evaluated.

The emphasis program focuses on manufacturing industries where injury and illness rates exceed the average for the private sector. Included are manufacturers of the following products: food, furniture, fabricated metal, nonmetallic mineral, machinery, and computer products as well as printing and related support activities.

This three-state emphasis program ends Sept. 30, 2016, unless extended. OSHA area offices will continue to open inspections in response to complaints, hospitalizations and fatalities.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742). Additional information related to the emphasis program is available by contacting OSHA's Kansas City Regional Office at 816-283-8745.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

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Media Contacts:

Scott Allen, 312-353-6976, allen.scott@dol.gov
Rhonda Burke, 312-353-6976, burke.rhonda@dol.gov

Release Number: 16-48-KAN


U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).


* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.


OSHA News Release - Table of Contents

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