Tim Bohmann, the Global Business Development Manager at ESC Services, was a featured presenter at the Safety Leadership Conference.
His presentation on advanced lockout-tagout (LOTO) strategies warned the attendees that much work remains to be done to improve worker safety. “Twenty-one amputations occur every day in the U.S. workplace,” Bohmann was quoted as saying. That translates to 7,990 amputations every year.
Bohmann said these amputations are exactly what LOTO plans are designed to help protect against. “Lockout/tagout is meant to avoid tragedy,” he stated. “There is still much room for improvement.”
Bohmann’s presentation was part of the Smart Manufacturing track at the 2016 conference. LOTO issues have been among the most frequently cited OSHA violations in recent years. “LOTO violations have been consistently in the top 10 most cited OSHA violations list, every year, since the standards have been in place. Lives and limbs are on the line,” he stated.
The ESC official bemoaned the slow progress in preventing tragedies through effective LOTO policies. “Over the last 20 years, there has only been a decrease of 1.5 deaths per year,” he said.
Bohmann said workers tend to bypass LOTO because they are trying to do a good job. “Workers are trying to optimize their work; trying to do their jobs,” he said. Sometimes workers feel that standard LOTO procedures stand in the way of optimal job performance.