That’s the amount a Texas-based pottery manufacturer agreed to pay after one of the company’s assistant managers perished in a kiln. The employee was servicing the kiln when he got trapped inside and it unexpectedly became engaged. The assistant manager died as a result of the injuries.
Most accidents like the one cited above are entirely avoidable. America’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) appears to be getting more aggressive in issuing citations and fines to companies that don’t adopt proper lockout/tagout procedures to protect their employees from accidents like these.
ESC Services (ESC), a Rockwell Automation brand, has a national reputation for designing company-specific lockout/tagout procedures that help save employee lives. Ever since lockout/tagout was first regulated in 1982, employers from virtually every industry have pursued solutions to protect their employees from stored energy accidents.
In today’s work environment, that usually means a graphic solution. The advent of computers allows companies to keep their procedures current and, through effective use of tablets and continuous synchronization with the company’s shared drive, assures that the most updated procedures are available at each individual machine or site.
It’s too late to save that $545,160 for the Texas pottery company. They have been cited by OSHA in that amount for failing to implement confined space and other company-specific lockout/tagout procedures. More importantly, one of their valued employees lost his life in the accident.
This particular company had similar citations in 2008, which had also resulted in the death of one of their employees. Employers need to understand that they are required by OSHA to provide safeguards and implement procedures and policies to avoid accidents resulting from stored energy.
Confined spaces like the one at the ceramic company often create dangerous situations. ESC approaches the confined spaces challenge by taking the guesswork out of the equation. We do a site evaluation and create a confined space inventory. It is categorized into “permit” and “non-permit” spaces.
From there, we create a graphical procedure for each space. There are OSHA regulations that specifically address confined space issues. No one is more familiar with those regulations than the skilled engineers working at ESC Services Besides the assessment and lockout/tagout design procedures mentioned above, ESC provides training, signage and audits.
Many employers do not realize the full extent of their lockout/tagout exposure until there is an accident. By then, it is sometimes too late to save your employees from related injuries or even death.
ESC Services is qualified to assess your exposure, design a plan to address it and get your company on a program that helps keep your employees safe and your company operating at peak efficiency.
Contact ESC Services to inquire about how to help protect your company from avoidable accidents resulting from stored energy. Even if you don’t think you have exposure, make the call. You may be surprised at how much exposure you really have.