Every year, between 150 and 200 fatalities and some 50,000 injuries occur due to failure to control the release of hazardous energy. Lockout/tagout (LOTO) refers to the OSHA-required practices and procedures to protect workers from unexpected start-up of machinery or hazardous energy released during service or maintenance.
What gets employers into LOTO trouble with OSHA? Attorney Nickole Winnett, shareholder in the Washington, D.C., office of Jackson Lewis, points to a number of culprits, including failing to ensure that energy control procedures have been developed, documented, and are in use for each piece of equipment where servicing and maintenance occur.
Recently, one of our subscribers asked the following question:
Recently, one of our subscribers asked the following question: I am looking for guidance on developing a lockout program where I can protect my employees from disassembled equipment while transferring the locks without having a physical hand off. Our second shift must leave equipment disassembled and locked out at midnight when they go home. We […]
A worker at a Wisconsin cheese factory lost two fingers in an amputation incident in January 2013. The worker was operating an unguarded cheese packing and labeling machine. When OSHA investigated the incident, it discovered that a similar amputation had occurred a year earlier. According to OSHA, the amputations could have been prevented by the […]
Yesterday, we looked at OSHA’s answers to some employers’ questions about training certification and LOTO verification. Today, we’ll look at what OSHA has to say about workers performing maintenance on plug-and-cord-connected equipment covered under an exception in the LOTO rules. Employers often write to OSHA asking for clarifications of its requirements. Sometimes, OSHA writes back. […]
Here’s a question: Your employees carry identification badges that identify the individual employee when it is swiped on an electronic reader. The badges are used for workplace security, documenting time on the clock, and recording attendance in training classes. The badge-swiping system identifies individual employees, but is not equivalent to an “electronic signature.” Is it […]
A 26-year-old knitting machine operator needed to make an adjustment to the machine. The machine had interlocks that stopped it when its safety gate was opened—but the interlocks were easily disabled, and the worker simply stuck a needle in the “on” button so that he could open the gates and adjust the machine while it […]
A 52-year-old welder was removing a jammed piece of metal from the hydraulic door of a scrap metal shredder but did not de-energize and lock out the shredder first. He also failed to release the residual hydraulic energy in the system and block the door open.
OSHA’s lockout/tagout standard [29 CFR 1910.147] requires employers and employees to take proper steps to prevent unexpected machine startup accidents.