The beast that is that cold, heartless machine with gnashing teeth, clamping jaws, and slashing claws has no respect for the hand that feeds. Poised and ready to pounce in an instant, its hardened steel mouth can tear savagely through soft tissue and crush bone into fragments. Clearly, its ferocity deserves the utmost respect on the part of the “trainer”.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), compliance with their lockout/tagout (LOTO) standard prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries per year. Additionally, the OSHA fact sheet on lockout/tagout states that workers injured on the job from exposure to hazardous energy lose an average of 24 workdays for recuperation.
In order to protect employees, employers need to institute these most critical requirements of the LOTO standard:
- Develop, implement, and enforce an energy control program.
- Use lockout devices for equipment that can be locked out and implement an effective tagout program for machinery and equipment that are not capable of being locked out.
- Ensure that new or overhauled equipment is capable of being locked out.
- Provide effective training for affected, authorized, and other employees. The fact sheet states the training must cover at least three areas: aspects of the employer’s energy control program, elements of the energy control procedure relevant to the employee’s duties or assignment, and the various requirements of the OSHA standards related to lockout/tagout.
- Inspect energy control procedures at least annually.
Complacency has no place in the realm of the beast machine. Achieving control over its menacing power requires full attention to effective guarding, proper training and work instruction, and monitoring compliance with adherence to machine specific energy control procedures.
Enter the MEMIC Safety Director resource library without trepidation to access machine guarding and lockout/tagout resources.