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A maintenance employee was attempting to tighten a friction belt with an Allen wrench on a wrapper machine when the employee’s hand was caught in the friction belt, resulting in lacerations to the right index and ring fingers. The employee was hospitalized, and OSHA investigated the incident.

Lockout/Tagout is an important step when de-energizing equipment before performing service or maintenance activities. Lockout/Tagout can be a simple process, but it can also be quite complex. Failing to properly Lock and Tag equipment can lead to serious injury or death.

According to OSHA, 5,333 workers died on the job in 2019 (3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers) — on average, more than 100 a week or about 15 deaths every day. About 20% (1,061) of worker fatalities in private industry in calendar year 2019 were in construction – accounting for one in five worker deaths for the year. The average cost of a workplace fatality is $1,200,000 according to the National Safety Council.

For injuries, the statistics do not get much better. In 2019, the National Safety Council calculated the average cost of a workplace injury at $42,000 each, this represents an overall non-fatal injury cost to employers of around $171 billion. This number represents over 2,800,000 non-fatal workplace injuries.

Top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards violated in FY 2020

  1. Fall Protection, construction
  2. Hazard Communication Standard, general industry 
  3. Respiratory Protection
  4. Scaffolding, general requirements, construction.
  5. Ladders, construction
  6. Control of Hazardous Energy (lockout/tagout), general industry 
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks, general industry 
  8. Fall Protection–Training Requirements 
  9. Eye and Face Protection 
  10. Machinery and Machine Guarding, general requirements 

If your company has had a serious on-the-job injury or fatality, contact Propel Consulting for help in dealing with any OSHA investigations.  More importantly, place a focus on preventing future reoccurrence by retaining us to assist you with your Lockout/Tagout safety policy development, and with safety inspections, risk management, and legal consulting.

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