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OSHA National Emphasis Programs

National Emphasis Programs:

National Emphasis Programs (NEPs) are temporary programs that focus OSHA's resources on particular hazards and high-hazard industries. Existing and potential new emphasis programs are evaluated using inspection data, injury and illness data, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports, peer-reviewed literature, analysis of inspection findings and other available information sources. Current programs are listed below:

  • Combustible Dust: This NEP is to identify, reduce or eliminate combustible dust hazards. Combustible dusts are either organic or metal dusts that are finely ground into very small particles, fibers, fines, chips, chunks, flakes or a small mixture of these. Types of dusts include, but are not limited to metal dust, such as aluminum and magnesium; wood dust; plastic dust; biosolids; organic dust, such as sugar, paper, soap and dried blood; and dusts from certain textiles.
  • Hazardous Machinery and Amputations: Implementation of this NEP is to identify and reduce or eliminate amputation hazards in manufacturing industries. OSHA’s enforcement history shows that employees are injured when machinery or equipment is not properly guarded or maintained and can cause amputations
  • Hexavalent Chromium: In 2006, OSHA issued updated standards regulating workplace exposures to hexavalent chromium in general industry, construction and maritime. This NEP focuses on the health hazards presented to workers by occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium and a number of other toxic substances often found in conjunction with hexavalent chromium.
  • Lead: This NEP focuses efforts to address Lead exposures in the workplace, including General Industry (1910), Construction (1926), Shipyard (1915), Marine Terminals (1917) and Longshoring (1918). The toxic effects of occupational exposure to lead are well established. Lead is a potent, systemic poison that serves no known useful function once absorbed by the body.
  • Primary Metal Industries: The NEP is to identify, reduce or eliminate worker exposure in facilities such as iron foundries and establishments that manufacture nails, insulated wires and cables, steel piping and copper and aluminum products.
  • Process Safety Management: This NEP is for inspecting facilities with highly hazardous chemicals (HHCs) in amounts at or greater than the threshold quantities listed in 29 CFR 1910.119.
  • Shipbreaking: In 2015, OSHA renewed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between DOD, DOT, DOL and EPA on Coordination and Information Sharing of Domestic Ship Recycling Operations (i.e., shipbreaking).
  • Silica: This NEP is to identify, reduce or eliminate worker exposures to respirable crystalline silica (RCS) in general industry, maritime and construction industries. It targets specific industries expected to have the highest exposures to RCS and focuses on enforcement of the new RCS Standards, 29 CFR § 1910.1053 and 29 CFR § 1926.1153.
  • Trenching and Excavation: The NEP provides updated guidance to OSHA’s national, regional, area and State Plan offices to reduce or eliminate workplace hazards associated with trenching and excavation operations.

Local Emphasis Programs:

Local Emphasis Programs (LEPs) are enforcement strategies designed and implemented at the regional office and/or area office levels. These programs are intended to address hazards or industries that pose a particular risk to workers in the office's jurisdiction. The emphasis programs may be implemented by a single area office, or at the regional level (Regional Emphasis Programs (REP)), and applied to all of the area offices within the region. These LEPs will be accompanied by outreach intended to make employers in the area aware of the program as well as the hazards that the programs are designed to reduce or eliminate. This outreach may be in the form of informational mailings, training at local tradeshows or speeches at meetings of industry groups or labor organizations. South Dakota is part of OSHA Region 8; listed below are Local Emphasis Programs:

  • Aircraft Support and Maintenance: The purpose of this LEP is to reduce the potential for employee exposure to toxic metals, solvents and occupational noise during aircraft maintenance, including repair and refurbishment.
  • Automotive Services/Lifts: This REP is focused on workers employed in the automotive services industry who many hazards that can lead to serious injury, illness and death, including crushing hazards due to improper use and maintenance of automotive lifts and floor jacks, excessive noise, tire explosions, machine guarding, uncovered service pits and exposure to chemicals.
  • Beverage Manufacturing: The purpose of this REP is to reduce employee exposure to hazards associated with beverage manufacturing processes in general industry operations. Hazards include confined spaces, falls, physical hazards (such as hearing loss and musculoskeletal disorders) and chemical exposure.
  • Scrap and Recycling Industry: This LEP is to identify, reduce or eliminate worker exposures from hazards associated with assembly, breaking up, separating, sorting, processing, handling and wholesale distribution of scrap and recyclable materials.
  • Asbestos Abatement Industry: The LEP focuses efforts with workers employed in the asbestos abatement industry and hazards that can lead to serious illness and death. Exposure to asbestos fiber is known to cause asbestosis (scarring of the lungs), cancer and mesothelioma (cancer of the chest cavity lining specifically linked to asbestos exposure).
  • Wood Manufacturing and Processing Facilities: This LEP is to reduce the incidence of serious injury or death from hazards associated with the operation of wood working machinery and potential health hazards associated with exposure to wood dusts.
  • Grain Handling Facilities: The REP focuses on workers employed in grain handling and storage facilities, which face many hazards that can lead to serious injury, illness and death. Suffocation and falls are the two leading causes of deaths. Other hazards include fires and explosions from combustible dust, electrocutions and injuries from improperly guarded machinery.
  • Roadway Work Zone Activities: The REP emphasizes reduction to incidences of serious injuries and fatalities during roadway work zone construction activities.
  • Oil and Gas Industry: This REP is to identify, reduce, or eliminate hazards to workers employed in the oil and gas industry that can lead to serious injury, illness and death. Flash fires, explosions, falls from height, struck by high-pressure equipment and hydrocarbon and other chemical exposures.
  • Workplace Violence Hazards at Residential Intellectual and Developmental Disability Facilities: This REP focuses on actions to reduce injuries occurring from workplace violence incidents through inspections of Residential Intellectual and Developmental Disability Facilities, NAICS 623210.
  • Fall Hazards in Construction: The REP emphasizes reducing hazards to workers employed in the construction industry that can lead to serious injury, illness and death. Fall from height is a major hazard routinely faced by workers in both the commercial and residential construction industry.