New Tool for Lockout/Tagout

October 22, 2018
A new website from the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Manufacturing Sector Council features ways in which you can safeguard employees from the release of hazardous energy during service and maintenance activities. This issue was taken up by NORA, the partnership program developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) which identifies workplace safety and health issues that require more attention and research.
Injuries and deaths can result from the unsafe release, presence or activation of stored energy during servicing or repair. For instance, an employee who tries to clear a jam but either fails to de-energize the machine or fails to lockout sources of energy allows another person (passers-by, contractor, temporary, or close co-workers) to dangerously reactivate the system. Specific practices and procedures ensuring deactivation and the control of reactivation, referred to as “lockout/tagout,” are meant to safeguard employees from unexpected startup of machinery, unsafe release of energy, or exposure to uncontrolled hazards, including electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, and other hazards.
The new website provides current and adapted resources to help companies and businesses start or improve and maintain any existing lockout/tagout programs they may already have in place. It features a resource guide with step-by-step guidance and customizable materials and templates to help with the implementation of effective strategies for the control of unsafe hazardous energy release. As part of its mission to promote the adoption of solutions for the over 15 million manufacturing workers in the nation, the Manufacturing Sector Council provides this resource after a thorough, collaborative and vetted effort.
In 2014, members of the Council co-authored the NIOSH Science Blog A Wrench in the Gear: Lockout/tagout in the food industry. The blog stated the Council’s intent to help small manufacturers with the control of hazardous energy, and asked for public input to enhance understanding of the issues surrounding lockout programs in the food and beverage processing industry. Now, as part of the third decade of NORA (2016-2026), the Manufacturing Sector Council can further assist with lockout programs through the dissemination of occupational safety and health solutions that work.
Job Openings at Environmental Resource Center
We are looking for new team members with hands-on environmental and safety experience. The successful candidate would have at least 4 years EHS experience at a manufacturing, consulting, or government facility in a position implementing safety and environmental regulations or at a government agency that enforces the regulations.  Job functions will include providing consulting services, audits, as well as training program development and presentation.  Excellent writing and public speaking skills are required.  Frequent air travel. Profit sharing, 401K, and other great benefits. 
We also have an opening for an EHS associate.  This position requires at least two years experience in the implementation of EHS regulations together with excellent writing and editing skills.
If you’d like to join a growing company that’s known for its quality, ethics, and expertise, send your resume to
OSHA to Target High Injury and Illness Rates 
OSHA is initiating a  Site-Specific Targeting 2016 (SST-16) Program using injury and illness information electronically submitted by employers for calendar year (CY) 2016. The program will target high injury rate establishments in both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors for inspection. Under this program, the agency will perform inspections of employers the agency believes should have provided 300A data, but did not for the CY 2016 injury and illness data collection. For CY 2016, OSHA required employers to electronically submit Form 300A data by December 15, 2017. The CY 2017 deadline was July 1, 2018; however, employers may still provide this information to the database.
Going forward, establishments with 250 or more employees that are currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records, and establishments with 20-249 employees that are classified in specific industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses will be required to provide this information each year by March 2.
ThyssenKrupp Fined $142,000 After Fatal Elevator Accident
OSHA has cited ThyssenKrupp Elevator Corporation for failing to secure an elevator platform at a Grove City, Ohio, construction site where a mechanic suffered fatal injuries. OSHA proposed penalties totaling $142,270, the maximum allowed for the alleged violations.
OSHA inspectors determined that the fatality occurred when the elevator platform fell into the elevator pit where the mechanic was working. The Agency also cited the company for failing to train employees about specific hazards found in a permit-required confined space.
"Employers are required to assess the safety of equipment being used in confined spaces to ensure employees working in these spaces are safe from recognized hazards," said OSHA Columbus Area Office Director Larry Johnson.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Roofer Gets Maximum Fine After Fatal Fall
OSHA has cited Kasper Roofing & Construction Inc. for exposing employees to fall and other hazards after an employee suffered fatal injuries at a Maitland, Florida, worksite. The Orlando, Florida-based roofing contractor faces $134,510 in penalties, the maximum allowed by law.
OSHA inspectors determined that the employee was performing residential roofing activities without fall protection when he fell. OSHA also cited the company for failing to provide fall protection training to employees and conduct frequent inspections to ensure employees were utilizing fall protection.
"Workers can be protected from falls by the use of harnesses and other fall protection devices," said OSHA Tampa Area Office Director Les Grove. "This tragedy could have been prevented if the employer had complied with OSHA's fall protection standards."
Massachusetts Railway Ordered to Pay $85,000 to Employee Subjected to Retaliation After Reporting Injury
OSHA has ordered Springfield Terminal Railway Inc. to compensate an employee who faced an investigative hearing with possible disciplinary action or termination for reporting an on-the-job injury at its facility in Andover, Massachusetts. OSHA ordered the company to pay the employee $10,000 in compensatory damages, $75,000 in punitive damages, and attorney’s fees.
An OSHA investigation determined Springfield Terminal Railway Inc. violated the whistleblower provisions of the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA) when the company notified the employee of a mandatory hearing one day after he sustained and reported his injury, and was subjected to the hearing.
Springfield Terminal Railway Inc. must also train managers and employees on proper reporting of injuries and illness; inform employees of their rights under FRSA and the Occupational Safety and Health Act; and expunge any references to reporting an injury from the employee’s record. Springfield Terminal Railway Inc. may appeal the order to the Department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges.
“This order underscores the Department’s commitment to protect employees who report injuries, or workplace conditions that could jeopardize employees’ health and safety,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Galen Blanton.
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