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0 Comments | Mar 26, 2018

Why Lockout Tagout Training Is Essential

Machine safety procedures are in place so workers can significantly decrease the dangers that come with operating them. However, if companies fail to train employees the likelihood of injury increases immensely. That is exactly what happened at Liqui-Box, an Ohio-based plastic bag manufacturer.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) after an employee suffered a partial thumb amputation. SVEP is in place to designate “employers who demonstrate indifference to the health and safety of their employees through willful, repeated, or failure-to-abate violations relating to significant hazards.” In other words, SVEP is for repeat offenders. This is the second time that Liqui-Box was issued citations related to an amputation, thus placing them into the program.

In the most recent incident, the employee was clearing a jam on a bag sealing machine when he suffered the partial thumb amputation. According to OSHA, the incident is a direct result of employees not being adequately trained on Lockout / Tagout (LOTO) procedures. The term Lockout refers to the practice of using a lockout device to prevent equipment from being operated. Tagout, meanwhile, refers to the use of a tagout device if an energy source is not capable of being locked out. Tagout also indicates that the equipment shall not be operated until the tagout device is removed.

It’s unclear how the partial amputation occurred, but it’s the employer’s responsibility to ensure personnel take necessary steps to prevent injury. This type of prevention starts with machine safety training so that employees are familiar with the appropriate lockout procedures should the machine suffer a jam. They must also be able to follow all lockout signs and labels posted in the area. In this particular case, a lockout device could have held the bag sealing machine in the off position – preventing the amputation from occurring.

For the safety of your employees, it’s imperative that machine safety training is introduced and enforced. It protects workers from experiencing incidents like this one and also helps companies avoid OSHA related fines.




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