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Prevent Injuries with Lockout/Tagout

An alarming news article that reinforces the importance of Lockout/Tagout procedures:

Man Dies After Being Run Over By Tractor Trailer
Feb 9, 2006, 06:42 PM EST Hampton Roads News Channel 3 A man dies after being run over by a tractor trailer behind a truck stop, Wednesday night. Police say, Paul Davis, 41, was working underneath a truck behind Frank's Truck Stop on West Military Highway when the owner of the truck got in and drove away. He was taken to Sentara Norfolk General where he died Thursday.


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"Lockout/Tagout (LOTO)" refers to specific practices and procedures to safeguard employees from the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities. This requires that a designated individual turns off and disconnects the machinery or equipment from its energy source(s) before performing service or maintenance and that the authorized employee(s) either lock or tag the energy-isolating device(s) to prevent the release of hazardous energy and take steps to verify that the energy has been isolated effectively.

Approximately 3 million workers service equipment and face the greatest risk of injury if lockout/tagout is not properly implemented. Compliance with the lockout/tagout standard (29 CFR 1910.147) prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year. In a study conducted by the United Auto Workers (UAW), 20% of the fatalities (83 of 414) that occurred among their members between 1973 and 1995 were attributed to inadequate hazardous energy control procedures specifically, lockout/tagout procedures

These injuries can be prevented by establishing an effective lockout program. An effective lockout/tagout program should include the following:

  • An inspection of equipment by a trained individual who is thoroughly familiar with the equipment operation and associated hazard
  • Identification and labeling of lockout devices
  • Purchase of locks, tags, and blocks
  • A standard written operating procedure that is followed by all employees

Source: OSHA

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