Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Workers get injured when they fail to properly lockout/tagout

Contributed by Eric C. Tofte, Director of Training, Evergreen Safety Council

As some of you know, I tend to harp on lockout/tagout issues a lot of the time. Well there is a reason for this, many workers get injured when they fail to properly lockout, tagout and try out of a piece of equipment they are going to work on.

Here from Washington State SHARP is another example reported in July of 2011:

A 21-year-old is not expected to regain the full use of his hand after it was caught in a clogged dust collection machine. Four fingers were broken and the skin from two fingers and the back of his hand was removed when the machine was started by the victim’s supervisor. The victim’s hand was caught in the fan as he tried to reach the blockage. Earlier, the victim’s supervisor tried to reach the blockage but was unable to. The victim then tried, believing his longer arms could reach the blockage. The supervisor was unaware that the victim’s arm was inside the machine when she started it.

The worker was from a temporary help agency and was employed one month at the storm water filtration equipment manufacturer when the incident occurred. The company had a lockout/tagout plan in place to prevent these injuries. The victim had not been trained in the lockout/tagout plan. The victim is likely to be out of work for more than six months.

If you would like to read the entire hazard alert, please follow this link.

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