Lockout/Tagout for Safety
Attorneys for Lockout/Tagout Accidents
Working around energy of all types is dangerous. If an employee does not realize that another worker is in a danger zone and he flips the power back on, it can result in serious injury or death. That is why it is important that there be safety procedures in place that force workers to check and double-check that all people are clear of danger before any release of energy occurs. If you have been involved in a job site accident caused by the unauthorized release of energy, it is important you contact a lawyer who is familiar with the OSHA rules and requirements that apply to your type of employment before the evidence disappears. Call Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. Our industrial accident lawyers offer a free consultation and charge no attorney fees unless we make a recovery in your case.
Lockout/Tagout Procedures Are Critical For Employee Safety
Lockout/tagout refers to the OSHA requirements for preventing the release of hazardous energy while employees and workers are performing maintenance and servicing on machines and equipment in the work area. Under Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, you can find specific safety procedures laid out for dealing with electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, and any other source of energy. Any time an employee may be exposed to hazardous energy, the proper lockout/tagout procedures must be followed. Otherwise, an unknowing employee may be put at risk of electrocution. It is estimated that over 50,000 employee injuries are prevented every year by the proper implementation and use of lockout/tagout procedures.
“Lockout” means that the machine is locked in an off position while it is being maintained. Ideally, only the employee who is exposed to a hazardous release should have the ability to restart or unlock the equipment he is servicing.
“Tagout” is the procedure used when a machine is incapable of being locked out or it is impractical. You place identifying warning tags that other employees recognize as a warning not to flip the wrong switch or valve and allow hazardous energy flow.
A tagout procedure may only be adopted where the tagout procedure provides as much safety for the employee as a lockout procedure.
The Employer’s Duty
All employers that have employees exposed to potential hazardous energy releases have a duty to adopt appropriate safety procedures to prevent accidental releases from occurring. This is a part of the employer’s nondelegable duty to provide a safe workplace. These procedures should include:
- Developing and implementing an energy control plan.
- Using appropriate lockout procedures where possible.
- Ensuring new equipment acquired is lockout capable.
- Implementing an appropriate tagout procedure for equipment that cannot be locked out.
- Supplying employees with appropriate and effective tagout devices.
- Training employees so that only the one who performs the lockout or tagout is allowed to unlock the machine or remove a tag.
- Providing employees all mandated safety training.
- Complying with OSHA requirements for the service and maintenance of the equipment or machines in question.
Call Us For a Free Consultation – No Win No Fee
If the Federal law is followed correctly, an employee should not be exposed to a hazardous energy release of any sort. If you believe that you were injured because of your employer’s failure to adopt and/or enforce appropriate lockout/tagout safety procedures, call Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. for a free consultation. When you hire us, we front all of the expenses of investigation and litigation out of our pocket and we only charge a fee if we make a recovery on your behalf. If we don’t make a recovery for you, you don’t pay a dime.