If you work in a large factory, then you may have heard of the phrase Lockout/Tagout, or LOTO for short. Lockout/Tagout is a standard that was created and recommended by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It was developed to provide companies and their employees with a plan to disable any machinery that may cause hazardous energy when in operation or during maintenance. The OSHA standard covers a whole host of areas, including mechanical, chemical, electrical and hydraulic, to name a few. Employers are responsible for implementing LOTO at their companies, but employees must also be aware of these safety precautions to ensure their safety.
Why have LOTO in place?
The LOTO plan was developed to protect factory workers from being harmed by a machine’s energy during its use or maintenance period. According to OSHA, having a LOTO plan in place can prevent up to 50,000 injuries every year. Companies that have large machines that produce a lot of energy must have a LOTO plan in place for their employees. If you’re an employee of a company that does not follow these rules, then it is recommended that you document it to ensure that you receive the workers’ comp that you deserve.
What should be included in a LOTO program?
Before anything else, you must first sit and develop a LOTO plan with your staff and even those working with the machines. The plan must be documented and implemented into your daily routine for it to be effective. Employees must be able to see lockout devices on equipment that can be locked out. Lastly, employers must provide employees with yearly training to ensure that proper procedures continue to be practiced.
If you have been injured at your job and believe it was due to a lack of LOTO implementation, the best route you can take is to seek the advice of an attorney as soon as possible. This may allow you to receive workers’ comp so that you can begin to recover.