Common Accidents Without Lock Out Tag Out (LOTO)

Posted On: February 23, 2018
Common Accidents Without Lock Out Tag Out (LOTO)
According to OSHA standards, LOTO or lockout/tagout regulations not only protect machinery, but these can also prevent fatalities and serious injuries. However, despite a decrease in the number of accidents in the workplace, debilitating injuries and deaths are still frequent, especially in industrial workplaces.

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Using appropriate LOTO devices is essential to ensure a safe working environment. For that to be possible, they need to be trained to follow established lockout procedures that can otherwise maim them or worse. Most accidents due to lockout/tagout inconsistencies occur because of 3 things:
  1. Maintenance procedures
  2. Cleaning machinery
  3. Removing items stuck in machinery
In each of these situations, workers are close to the moving parts of a machine which should be shut down during maintenance. Most accidents occur when workers either fail to lock out or tag out properly or another worker starts the machinery unknowingly. These injuries can be prevented if workers cut off the power supply before working on machinery. However, some skip this step either unknowingly or deliberately. Risk of injury increases in units that have multiple moving parts and workers fail to cut off power sources from each before working. Common accidents that can occur with improper LOTO include:
  • Crushed under moving parts which should have been shut off beforehand
  • Suffocation under heavy machinery which starts moving or re-energizes during maintenance or examinations
  • Electrocution because power supply was not cut off beforehand
  • Loss of limb, suffocation, and fractures due to moving parts
  • Life-threatening or fatal burns due to burners, hot liquids or hazardous materials that were not blocked during machine maintenance
Most of these incidents are avoidable if proper precautions are set in place to prevent machinery from re-energizing during maintenance and examinations. That is why according to OSHA, LOTO checkups should be audited on an annual basis to ensure compliance. In addition, employees should be trained and geared for lockout / tagout procedures for their own safety.  

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