Matter of Life or Death: Developing Necessary Hazard Controls
Failure to develop and use energy hazard control procedures are among the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration most frequently cited violations each year.
Commonly known as lockout procedures, failures are not only electrical accidents, but include hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, and other sources of energy.
A division of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, the National Occupational Research Agenda Manufacturing Sector Council compiled a guide for companies to follow to implement an effective hazardous energy control program.
A comprehensive guide will have four main components:
- Energy control procedures
- Employee training
- Program auditing or inspections
- Equipment and design acquisition
OSHA offers various samples of written programs that can be customized to an employer’s needs.
Regulations are designed to help to protect employees from unexpected machine startups or hazardous releases during servicing and maintenance.
It is important to remember injuries and fatal accidents as a result of a company not implementing a lockout program are much more costly than citations.
Machine guarding, powered industrial trucks, hazard communication, and flammable liquids were other frequent workplace violations in the past few years.
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