CANTON, OH– TimkenSteel, a steel manufacturer, was cited with inadequate machine guarding following a fatality of an employee in Canton, OH. The failure to install guards or provide proper hand tools to employees, led to entanglement hazards while operating a bar straightener machine.
Founded in 1917 as the steel business of The Timken Roller Bearing Company, the parent company to TimkenSteel, is a leading producer of carbon steel, alloy and micro-alloy steel in specialty bars, mechanical tubing, and other products used in the automotive, industrial, and energy markets. The company employs 1,800 workers.
Violations and Citations
During the investigation, OSHA determined the worker was operating the machine when he was entangled on a piece of steel bar stock that was rotating at high speeds. The entanglement of the employee with the steel bar stock ultimately led to fatal injuries. Upon further investigation, inspectors found the safety equipment provided to employees to manipulate the steel on the machines was not in compliance with the machine requirements. And because proper equipment and safety procedures were not in place, the employee’s limbs became exposed to the danger zones of the steel rotating machine.
OSHA cited the steel manufacturer with two willful and two serious citations, which resulted in over $315K in penalties. The serious violations were cited due to lack of guarding on horizontal drive shafts and knuckles, and walking-working surfaces that exposed workers to slip and fall hazards from oil coolant leaks and spills.
“A worker’s life might have been spared if Timken Steel safeguarded dangerous machinery as required by law,” said OSHA Area Director Howard Eberts in Cleveland. “This company identified the safety issue that exposed workers using this machine to serious hazards but failed to make it safe.”
OSHA sources state that workers who operate and maintain machinery suffer approximately 18,000 amputations, lacerations, crushing injuries, abrasions, and over 800 deaths per year.
Until there are no more workplace fatalities, it is critical companies remain vigilant with their safety procedures. If machine guarding procedures were in place, this workplace fatality could have been prevented. Martin Technical offers machine guarding safety training and program development along with other pertinent safety trainings to ensure the highest level of workplace safety. Find out how Martin Technical can ensure every employee makes it home safely at the end of the day.
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.
Martin Technical, Inc., a leading subject matter expert in providing industrial plants and facilities with simplified safety solutions and consulting services, will be participating as a Gold Sponsor at the NFMT National Facilities Management and Technology Conference March 29-31, 2022, in Baltimore, MD. Industry experts will be present to educate facility professionals on how Martin Technical can make the complex simple by applying solutions for training, electrical maintenance, inspections, lockout tagout, confined space, and OSHA services.
Martin Technical will be highlighting the latest, most comprehensive, and practical safety training offerings, including blended learning training and strategies to guide organizations in building the most robust training program.
NFMT will also be hosting world-class conference sessions, including Martin Technical’s Chief Operating Officer, Donny Snyder, addressing the topic Maintaining Electrical System Health, Efficiency, and Safety. This topic will be presented during NFMT’s product zone speaking event on Thursday, March 31, at 11:30 AM ET.
Martin Technical is inviting workplace safety professionals to register as a Pro Level Access guest at no charge using promo code PROALUM. Guests are encouraged to visit Martin Technical at booth #715 during the conference.