Search

Packaging Manufacturer Cited for $370K in LOTO Violations

Posted on 4/11/2022 by Lauren Scott

Last month, OSHA issued citations against a Massachusetts manufacturer for alleged lockout/tagout violations related to an incident that left one employee with severe burns.

On September 23, 2021, a facility worker was changing a screen on a plastic bag extruder machine when the worker was allegedly sprayed with hot liquid plastic, according to OSHA. OSHA has inspected the company at its various US locations more than 40 times in the last five years.

Following the incident, OSHA determined that the company failed to establish and use lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedures or eliminate employees’ exposure, did not train workers in lockout/tagout procedures, and did not conduct periodic inspections to ensure procedures were followed.

OSHA also found that the company did not provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure that employees were protected when servicing the machine.

The Agency issued citations to the company for two willful violations and one repeat violation and proposed a civil penalty of $389,815. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its 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.

OSHA has developed a robust set of resources to help keep workers in the plastics industry safe. Topics include LOTO, machine guarding, hazardous communication, and more.
 

What Is Hazardous Energy? What Is Lockout/Tagout?

OSHA defines hazardous energy as the “unexpected startup or release of stored energy.” When this hazardous energy is released during maintenance or servicing, whether it’s electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, chemical, or otherwise, it can badly injure or even kill the employee(s) working on the machine. According to OSHA, failure to control hazardous energy accounts for almost 10 percent of serious accidents across many industries.

Lockout/tagout is the industry standard for controlling hazardous energy. An effective LOTO strategy involves the use of lockout devices for equipment that can be locked out (i.e., physically restrained or blocked from starting up or releasing energy).

“Tagout” refers to the use of tags, which may be used when a lock is not compatible. Tags provide a warning for employees, but do not physically stop the machine from moving the way a lock does.

OSHA’s regulations at 29 CFR 1910.147 lay out employers’ responsibilities for protecting workers from the release of hazardous energy by implementing safety procedures and training workers on how to use the LOTO system (see 29 CFR 1910.174(c)(7)).
 

Safety Training Is the Best Accident Prevention

When workers know the regulations behind safety procedures, they are less likely to cut corners, reducing the chance of accidents and preventing costly OSHA violations.

Meet OSHA's Lockout/Tagout training requirement with the Lockout/Tagout online training. In addition to learning the basics of LOTO systems from the 29 CFR regulations, employees develop an understanding of risks associated with hazardous energy; site-specific energy control procedures; application, removal, and transfer of LOTO devices; and best practices for training and re-training workers on these procedures.

Tags: lockout tagout, osha

Find a Post

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

The instructor was excellent. They knew all of the material without having to read from a notepad or computer.

Gary Hartzell

Warehouse Supervisor

I like the consistency of Lion workshops. The materials are well put together and instructors are top notch!

Kevin Pylka

Permitting, Compliance & Environmental Manager

This is a very informative training compared to others. It covers everything I expect to learn and even a lot of new things.

Quatama Jackson

Waste Management Professional

The course was very well structured and covered the material in a clear, concise manner.

Ian Martinez

Hazmat Shipping Professional

Lion is my preferred trainer for hazmat and DOT.

Jim Jani

Environmental Coordinator

Given the choice, I would do all coursework this way. In-person courses go very fast without the opportunity to pause or repeat anything.

Ellen Pelton

Chemical Laboratory Manager

Lion courses always set the bar for content, reference, and practical application. Membership and access to the experts is an added bonus.

John Brown, CSP

Director of Safety & Env Affairs

I love that the instructor emphasized the thought process behind the regs.

Rebecca Saxena

Corporate Product Stewardship Specialist

The instructor was very engaging and helped less experienced people understand the concepts.

Steve Gall

Safety Leader

The instructor was great, explaining complex topics in terms that were easily understandable and answering questions clearly and thoroughly.

Brittany Holm

Lab Supervisor

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

Find out what makes DOT hazmat training mandatory for employees who sign the hazardous waste manifest, a “dually regulated” document for tracking shipments.

Latest Whitepaper

By submitting your phone number, you agree to receive recurring marketing and training text messages. Consent to receive text messages is not required for any purchases. Text STOP at any time to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. View our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.