Violations of LOTO procedures can cause workplace injuries

On Behalf of | Sep 18, 2018 | Workplace Injuries

Industrial facilities in Oklahoma pose multiple equipment hazards, and violations of safety regulations can lead to electrocution, amputations and other catastrophic injuries. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, almost all workplace injuries can be prevented. When it comes to the risks related to industrial equipment, compliance with lockout/tagout regulations is crucial.

Safety authorities say workers must be monitored to ensure they take no shortcuts. Complacency and rushing to get work done quicker often lead to workers disregarding LOTO regulations. Examples include a worker who goes home without removing a lock and another worker having to cut the lock to be able to use the machine.

Lockout/tagout procedures prevent equipment from being energized while maintenance or cleaning takes place. However, workers who have years of service in one factory without being injured tend to become complacent and disregard safety regulations without considering that it endangers the lives of co-workers. In some circumstances, older equipment is merely marked as locked out by using labels that can easily be removed by other workers. Furthermore, some employers provide wires that are easy to cut to lock valves in place instead of installing chains.

If Oklahoma workers suffer electric shocks or other workplace injuries caused by the lack of lockout/tagout procedures, they might be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages. If their injuries caused permanent disabilities, they might be eligible for additional benefits. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can assist with the administrative and legal procedures. Benefits for a disabled worker might include vocational training to equip him or her with new skills to continue earning an income in a position that accommodates the disability.