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FLEXO Magazine : March 2008
PLANTS & PROCESSES 48 FLEXO MARCH 2008 www.flexography.org Predicting what challenges a printer will face when dealing with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations is not always straightforward. Some regulatory issues are perennial regu- lars, present the same hurdles for compliance, and receive the same attention from OSHA, however, in some instances, these same established regulations are given a refreshed application and focus. Such is the case with a recent issue that will impact the printing industry in 2008---OSHA's revised compliance directive on amputations. NEW EMPHASIS ON AMPUTATIONS Although flexographic printing is an inherently safe segment of industry, compared to other manufacturing industries, the sheer size of the entire printing industry makes for a growing target and the readily available information regarding the indus- try contributes to a heightened scrutiny by OSHA. With respect to amputations in the overall printing indus- try, these types of injuries do unfortunately occur in significant enough numbers to warrant attention from OSHA. This fact, along with a general lack of progress in reducing amputations in the manufacturing industries, has caused OSHA to revise its National Emphasis Program (NEP) on Amputations. The Directive, CPL 03-00-003, sets out the policies and procedures for implementing a program to identify and reduce workplace ma- chinery and equipment hazards that are causing, or are likely to cause, amputations. The revised directive focuses on identifying industries and establishments associated with amputations, as well as specific equipment associated with amputations. The previous directive had focused only on generally recognized high hazard industries. It had not identified "printing equipment" in general as signifi- cant, but still noted the potential for amputation. The revised NEP includes three major activities: Targeting/Selection of Industries and Establishments. Inspection Efforts. Outreach Efforts. OSHA's Revised National Emphasis Program for Amputations By Robert Fricke and Rick Hartwig