Oklahoma City, OK– A large construction company, T.J. Campbell Construction Co., was cited with $370K in penalties after failing to prevent a conveyor system from being turned on. Failure to comply with lockout tagout requirements led to the fatality of an 18-year-old employee. The young employee was attempting to clear debris from the conveyor, when the machine was turned on and the employee was pulled into hot asphalt.
Based in Edmond, T.J. Campbell Construction, is a subsidiary of DUIT Holdings Inc. The company was founded in 1978 and is considered a premier asphalt and concrete paving contractor. Their specialty includes the turn-key construction of DOT Heavy Highway, street, and site infrastructure for commercial developments as well as complete construction and reconstruction services, from city streets to Interstate Highways.
Violations and Citations
After investigation, it was determined that T.J. Campbell Construction Co. did not lockout the conveyor system, which led to the fatality. In addition to not following proper lockout tagout procedures, the company did not have a lockout tagout policy in place and had not trained employees adequately on requirements for controlling hazardous energy.
Other violations found:
Permitting unguarded pulleys, and chain and sprockets on walking and working surfaces
Failure to apply lockout tagout on machinery
Safety violations due to missing handrails
Safety violations due to uncovered open holes on walking surfaces
“A young worker was barely three months on the job when his life was tragically cut short,” said OSHA Area Director Steven Kirby in Oklahoma City. “Had TJ Campbell Construction Company provided their workers with the required training on controlling hazardous energy and ensuring proper shutdown before any attempt to remove debris was made, this young man would have ended his workday safely.”
Weston, WI – An aluminum manufacturer was cited for Machine Guarding violations by OSHA in Weston, Wisconsin for $159,522 for failure to establish safe machine guarding procedures and failure of training on lockout tagout procedures. The citations for machine guarding led to serious injuries and hospitalization of an employee after being struck by a puller, while the machine was trying to unjam a piece of aluminum.
The large statewide company focuses on aluminum extrusions, fabrication, coating services, plastics painting services, along with warehouse and freighting. The aluminum manufacturer is a multi-million-dollar company with over 600 employees across 4 locations throughout the state of Wisconsin.
Violations and Citations
The aluminum manufacturer has a history of investigations and violations with OSHA citing the company eight different times for safety violations, including past machine safety violations, between 2012-2019. OSHA investigators determined that safety guards were not utilized around an 8-inch extrusion press line, which is intended to prevent employees from direct contact with the puller. Lockout tagout procedures were not utilized preventing further danger to employees.
OSHA concluded the company could have prevented the accident if they had provided adequate lockout tagout safety training as well as installed proper machine safety guards. The investigation concluded the company failed to:
Apply 6 ft chain link safety guards around the 8-inch extrusion press line
Provide training on proper machine safety procedures
These violations of safety procedures resulted in three “serious” violations, totaling $159,522 in penalties.
“Machine guards are designed to protect workers from suffering serious injuries, but they are only effective when used properly,” said OSHA’s Area Director Robert Bonack in Appleton. “OSHA will hold this company and others accountable for failing to comply with safety and health regulations put in place to prevent worker injuries.”
In summary, companies must be cognizant of the repercussions of not using safety procedures required by OSHA. With proper safety training and lockout tagout practices, this situation could have been avoided and the release of hazardous energy could have been prevented. Proper safety training will help ensure safe work environments and can avoid on-the-job work injuries. Learn more about safety trainings and proper lockout tagout program compliance and procedures.
In FY 2021, lockout tagout ranked seventh on OSHA’S Top 10 list of most frequently cited standards with 1,670 total violations. Furthermore, within the standard, 1910.147(c)(6), the “periodic inspection” was the third most frequently cited section, with 255 violations. Subsequently, the fourth was standard 1910.147(c)(1), with 162 violations related to lockout tagout procedures, employee training, and periodic inspections. Thus, NIOSH reminds employers of required annual lockout tagout inspections on written hazardous energy control procedures.
The OSHA standard for The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout Tagout) (29 CFR 1910.147) addresses the practices and procedures to disable machinery or equipment. It is essential to prevent the release of hazardous energy while employees perform servicing and maintenance activities. In sum, the standard outlines measures for controlling hazardous energies, including electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, and other energy sources.
Useful Tips and Reminders for Developing and Maintaining a Lockout Tagout Program
Compliance with the lockout tagout standard prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year. Workers injured on the job from exposure to hazardous energy lose an average of 24 workdays for recuperation. NIOSH has offered tips and reminders for developing and maintaining a lockout/tagout program as below:
The written procedures shall include the scope of procedures, intended purpose, names of authorized personnel, rules for shift change, transfer of locks, and specific methods used.
A periodic inspection must include a demonstration of the procedures and be conducted while the authorized employee performs service/maintenance on a machine/equipment.
Each energy control procedure must be separately inspected to ensure the procedure is adequate and properly implemented by the authorized employee.
The inspector must be a knowledgeable lockout tagout authorized employee who isn’t currently performing lockout tagout on the energy control procedure under inspection.
The inspector can’t implement any part of the procedure during the inspection but must observe the procedure implementation for the evaluated equipment or machine. Additionally, the inspector should speak with at least one authorized employee who implements the procedure to ensure a thorough understanding of the procedure.
Lastly, the employer must retrain the employee if the inspection reveals deviations from the written procedures or inadequacies in the knowledge of procedures.
In summary, performing annual lockout audits can be a daunting task without the right knowledge and right tools. Industry subject matter experts with Martin Technical can help organizations identify and fill gaps in their current lockout tagout program. Typically, the evaluations cover ten topics and over 100 investigation points through observation of work processes, documentation, and administration of the program. Upon completion, a report containing compliance status, code references for the deficiencies, corrective actions, and best practices will be provided. There are three Annual Lockout Program Audits as below:
On-Site Audits It is performed by a subject matter lockout expert typically taking two days.
Rapid LOTO Audit App
TheRapid LOTO app is an award-winning self-auditing tool for periodic lockout inspections. The app takes users through each step of their program and provides a variety of reports and tools to improve their lockout program.
Customize Auditing Programs
This inspection program offers various hybrid programs, including software, apps, live inspections, training, and online information. This option is best to create an audit program that best meets any organization’s needs.
STERLING, MA – OSHA cited a multinational manufacturer for $370,000 due to failure to establish and use lockout tagoutprocedures and provide training. Investigators from OSHA determined that the worker in the Sterling facility was sprayed with hot liquid plastic. The accident caused severe burns to the employee who changed a screen on a plastic bag extruder machine.
The company was founded in 1967, and supplies and manufactures products for households, healthcare, personal care, and food and beverage industries. The company serves North and South American, European, and Asian markets with headquarters in Evansville, Indiana. It has 47,000 global employees at more than 295 locations, including the Sterling facility that manufactures plastic bags.
Violations and Citations
The plastic packaging manufacturer has a history of workplace safety and health investigations. OSHA has inspected the manufacturer in various U.S. locations more than 40 times during the last five years. These inspections include two fatality inspections in New Jersey and Wisconsin; both were related to lockout tagout violations. The manufacturer has contested both inspections.
OSHA concluded that the manufacturer could have prevented the accident if they had complied with the lockout tagout requirements and provided personal protective equipment. Based on the investigation in Sterling, OSHA found that the company failed to:
Establish and use lockout tagout procedures.
Provide training to workers to use lockout tagout procedures.
Eliminate employee exposure to protect workers from the extruder machine while they performed service or maintenance.
Conduct periodic inspections to ensure workers follow the safety procedures.
Provide appropriate personal protective equipment to ensure that employees were protected when servicing the extruder.
Subsequently, OSHA cited the manufacturer for two willful violations and one repeat violation and has proposed close to $370K in penalties.
“Berry Global Inc. could have prevented this worker’s injuries if the company had the required safeguards,” said OSHA Area Director Mary Hoye in Springfield, Massachusetts. “OSHA will hold employers accountable when they knowingly disregard their legal responsibility to provide workers a safe and healthful workplace.”
Berry Global Inc. also meets the Severe Violator Enforcement Program requirements because one of the proposed willful, and the proposed repeat citation, are high emphasis standards of lockout tagout.
However, the company has 15 business days to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings.
WASHINGTON – On March 30th, OSHA published a proposed rule to its occupational injury and illness recordkeeping regulation. The proposed amendment targets to improve the tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses recordkeeping regulation, 29 CFR 1904.41.
The Proposed Rule
The proposed rule requires certain employers to submit injury and illness information to OSHA electronically and report the Annual Summary. Ultimately, the agency uses these reports to identify and respond to emerging hazards and makes aspects of the information publicly available.
In summary, the proposed rule would:
Require establishments with 100 or more employees in specific high-hazard industries to electronically submit information from their OSHA Forms 300, 301, and 300A to OSHA once a year.
Update the classification system used to determine the list of industries covered by the electronic submission requirement.
Remove the current requirement for establishments with 250 or more employees not in a designated industry to electronically submit Form 300A to OSHA annually.
LAstly, require establishments to include their company name when making electronic submissions to OSHA.
In the meantime, establishments with 20 or more employees in specific high-hazard industries would continue to submit Annual Summary via Form 300A to OSHA electronically.
The Benefits of the Amendments
After all, the proposed rule would support OSHA’s mission to protect workers, mitigate workplace hazards, and empower workers by increasing transparency in the workforce.
Additionally, OSHA believes that the electronic submission of establishment-specific and case-specific information will improve workplace safety and health by:
Allowing OSHA to effectively identify workplaces where workers are at most significant risk from specific hazards. Thus, enabling the agency to target its compliance assistance and enforcement efforts accordingly.
Improving the visibility of employers to compare their injury and illness data on hazards within the same industry.
Enhancing the ability of stakeholders to make more informed decisions using recent establishment-specific, case-specific, and injury/illness information.
Lastly, advancing the research related to occupational safety and health.
Comments Due Date and Submission Details
The public can submit comments online using Docket No. OSHA-2021-0006 on the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Refer to the Federal Register notice for more details, and the due date for comments submission is May 30th, 2022. All submissions must include the agency’s name and the docket number for this rulemaking (Docket No. OSHA-2021-0006). OSHA also cautions commenters about submitting private information that will be made available to the public online at https://www.regulations.gov without modification.
CAMDEN, NJ – OSHA initiated an investigation of the auto parts shop after a vehicle lift crushed a worker’s hand in Camden, New Jersey. Following the investigation, the NJ auto parts seller faces $1.26 million in fines for thirty-three workplace safety and health violations. The company sells wholesale and retail parts salvaged from used vehicles through an assembly line process.
The Investigation and Citations
OSHA determined that the company failed to have proper safeguards to protect employees from an accidental machine startup. The agency also identified 33 workplace safety and health violations, including willful, repeat, and serious citations, as below:
Failed to equip employees with personal protective equipment or provide fire extinguisher training.
Willfully did not prevent fires, which frequently happened along the conveyor line when sparking tools ignited gasoline vapors.
Exposed workers to electrical, noise, machine guarding, crushing, and flammable material hazards.
Willfully failed to keep an emergency egress clear.
Did not protect employees from being caught in automobile lifts.
According to OSHA Regional Administrator Richard Mendelson, “by disregarding required safety protections, My Auto Store contributed to a worker’s serious and life-altering injury. In fact, the company could have prevented the accident by complying with workplace safety standards and implementing safety programs,” he added.
However, the company has 15 business days to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings.
GREENSBORO, NC – OSHA cited a mail facility’s distribution center in Greensboro for $170K after a worker suffered a life-changing injury last year. The investigation revealed the mechanic suffered an amputation after coming into contact with a machine that had a safety guard removed. Greensboro Network Distribution Center is a bulk mail processing and distribution center for the company with a programmable network of heavy conveyor lines and other systems that handles packages for delivery.
The Violations and Citations
Following the tragedy,Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the postal service’s facility, which operates as Greensboro Network Distribution Center. Subsequently, the investigation identified repeat and serious safety violations as follows:
Failure to ensure that safety guards were in place as required.
Allowing conveyor guards to be routinely removed, leaving workers at risk for injury.
Did not train staff on working near conveyors or proper methods for safely operating equipment using lockout tagout safety measures.
Allowed unqualified workers – workers without adequate training and protective equipment – to perform tests on live electrical equipment.
Therefore, OSHA issued two serious and two repeat citations, totaling $170,918 in proposed fines.
The company has 15 business days to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings.
“The USPS has an obligation to eliminate hazards to ensure safe working conditions and prevent future tragic and life-altering injury. But the company ignored long-established safety standards and put workers at risk,” said OSHA Area Director Kimberley Morton in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Key Takeaways: Training and Proper Lockout Tagout Could Have Prevented the Tragedy
Key takeaways are to ensure proper Lockout Tagout (LOTO) practices and procedures are in place to safeguard workers from the release of hazardous energy. Establishing a complete and comprehensive Lockout Tagout programthat includes precise lockout procedures for all workers is essential. Partnering with certified lockout techniciansto enhance efficiency and turnaround time on developing LOTO procedures and placards is also important.
Additionally, routine safety training can prevent accidents and avoid fines, ensuring the highest level of workplace safety. Thus, employers must train workers in energy control and the skills required to safely apply, use, and remove energy control devices.
WASHINGTON – On February 15, the Department of Labor announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by OSHA to improve worker safety and health. This ensures that the agency’s general industry and construction industry rules reflect current industry practice and state-of-the-art technology. OSHA proposes updating the design and manufacturing requirements of the powered industrial trucks standards for general industry and construction.
The Proposed Update
The proposal would update design and construction requirements for industrial trucks powered by an electric motor or internal combustion engine. This includes fork trucks, tractors, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks, and other specialized industrial trucks.
The proposed updates would add references to the latest design and construction requirements published by the American National Standards Institute. And the references are also in conjunction with the Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation.
Since OSHA adopted the 1969 version of the ANSI B56.1, ANSI has revised its consensus standard twelve times between 1975 to 2020. The three B56 volumes cover all powered industrial trucks that are currently within the scope of OSHA’s standards (§§ 1910.178(a)(1) and 926.602(c)(1)(vi)). They encompass all equipment initially covered by the consensus standard cited in OSHA’s existing standards (ANSI B56.1-1969). OSHA is not aware of any other consensus standards covering powered industrial trucks in its scope. But the agency requests comments on whether any other such standards exist and should be referenced by OSHA.
In addition to updating the design and construction requirements for future manufactured powered industrial trucks, it will also address equipment manufactured before the final rule’s effective date.
This proposed update is part of OSHA’s regulatory projects to update nearly 200 agency standards. The updates will be helpful to reflect the current versions of international consensus and national industry standards.
Violations of the powered industrial trucks are consistently on the OSHA Top Ten Most Frequently Cited Safety and Health Violations. Several thousand injuries related to forklifts occur in U.S. workplaces every year. Read more on the safety and compliance requirements for forklifts. Martin Technical encourages organizations to develop a robust workplace safety strategy by scheduling regularforklift training. The Forklift Train-The-Trainer and Operator Training Course are designed to aid general industry and construction workers in the safe operation of forklifts. This step-by-step approach proves helpful for workers to be knowledgeable of OSHA and manufacturers’ safety requirements for the use of forklifts.
HENDERSON, TX – Following a fatal injury suffered by an 86-year-old worker, the U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA opened an investigation. The worker had fallen from a stack of pallets at W.D. Townley and Son Lumber Company Inc. The manufacturer has been family-owned and operated since 1943, with its private fleet of commercial transportation equipment.
OSHA Cited the Manufacturer Exposed Workers to Hazardous Energy Sources
The federal investigation at this Henderson sawmill and pallet manufacturer found the company exposed workers to hazardous energy sources and a lack of machine guarding.
“Sawmill operations can be hazardous work, but it should not be life-threatening,” said OSHA Area Director Basil Singh in Dallas. “W.D. Townley and Son Lumber Company Inc. showed a complete disregard for their employees’ well-being. OSHA will hold employers accountable when they neglect their legal responsibility to provide workers with a safe workplace.”
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citationsand penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings.
Proper Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) practices and procedures safeguard workers from the release of hazardous energy. Employers must train workers in the purpose and function of the energy control program. In addition, workers have to be equipped with the knowledge and skills required to safely apply, use, and remove energy control devices.
CREST HILL, IL – A 42-year-old Chicago area employee suffered a fatal injury while cleaning a machine at a Crest Hill frozen pizza manufacturer.
Rich Products Corp. is a multinational food manufacturer that operates about 100 locations globally and reports annual sales exceeding $4 billion. The company manufactures frozen pizzas, desserts, and other grocery items for food service, retail, in-store bakeries, and delis. It employs about 375 people at its Crest Hills facility and more than 7,400 nationwide.
OSHA issued one willful violation to the Buffalo, New York-based food manufacturer and proposed $145,027 in penalties. The agency placed Rich Products in OSHA’s Severe Violator Program for a willful violation that led to an employee fatality. The company has an extensive history of OSHA violations nationwide.
“This preventable tragedy is another example of why employers must ensure lockout/tagout procedures are in place before allowing workers to clean or operate machinery. Employers who fail to follow safety standards and train workers in operating procedures will be held accountable,” said OSHA Chicago South Area Director James Martineck in Tinley Park.
The company has 15 business days to comply, request a conference, or contest before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Lockout/Tagout is among the Top 10 Most Cited Standards
OSHA’s lockout/tagout and machine guarding standards are among the agency’s top 10 most frequently cited standards in FY 2021. The lockout/tagout standard (29 CFR 1910.147) was cited 1,698 times in the fiscal year (FY) 2021. At the same time, Machinery and Machine Guarding, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.212) were cited 1,113 times.