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Lockout/Tagout Could Have Prevented WI Teen’s Death

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Columbus, WI – Proper lockout devices and lockout/tagout training could have prevented the tragic death of a 17-year-old at a WI repair shop. That’s OSHA‘s finding following investigation into an accident at GD Roberts & Co. on June 27, 2016. On that day, Dusty Babcock was pinned beneath a machine that hadn’t properly been de-energized. Babcock died of his injuries six days later. lockout/tagout teen death

OSHA has issued 16 serious safety and health violations and one less-serious violation to G.D. Roberts and has proposed penalties of $119,725.

Federal safety inspectors have reported that Babcock was clearing scrap below a loading table for an operating laser-cutter system when the machine lowered, trapping him
beneath it. OSHA found that GD Roberts failed to ensure procedures were followed that lock out the machine to prevent unintentional movement. GD Roberts Co. also failed to train its employees properly in lockout/tagout safety procedures.

Multiple safety violations were found at the facility, including the failure to conduct periodic inspections of machine safety procedures and the failure to affix lockout devices to isolate energy prior to allowing employees to enter machine-hazard areas.

OSHA requires equipment-specific lockout procedures be written and visible for each piece of equipment. These lockout procedures provide detailed instruction on how to isolate and lock each energy source for a given piece of equipment, helping to prevent the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities. Lockout/Tagout procedure include the isolation of any prime movers, machinery and equipment from mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, electrical, thermal or other energy sources.

Millions of American workers service equipment on a daily basis and these employeesface the greatest risk of injury if lockout/tagout is not properly implemented. Compliance with state and federal lockout/tagout standards prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year.

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