The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 was enacted “to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women; by authorizing enforcement of the standards developed under the Act.” With the Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) was established as part of the United States Department of Labor.
OSHA established standards to protect workers against hazardous energy like electricity on jobsites.
CONTROL OF HAZARDOUS ENERGY (LOCKOUT/TAGOUT) (29 CFR 1910.147)
The control of hazardous energy as pertaining to lockout-tagout had over 2,000 violations in 2020. The purpose of controlling hazardous energy in this manner is to reduce/erase the potential harm to employees during the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment in which the unexpected energization or start up of the machines or equipment, or the release of stored energy.
- Establish a program and utilize procedures for affixing appropriate lockout devices or tagout devices to energy isolating devices, and to otherwise disable machines or equipment to precent unexpected energization, start up or release of stored energy in order to precent injury to employees.
Injuries that may occur if there is a failure to properly control hazardous energy include electrocution, burns, crushing, cutting, lacerating, amputating, or death.
When employers ignore OSHA’s safety standards, it is predictable that workers will suffer serious injury or death. When workers suffer injuries on the jobsite resulting from improper lockout/tagout protocols, those people in charge of safety at the jobsite may be responsible for the consequences of failing to protect workers from hazardous energy like electricity.
If you have questions/concerns regarding hazardous energy at the jobsite that results in serious injury, you should consult a lawyer experienced in handling electrocution and electric shock cases. For questions, please contact one of the experienced lawyers at DILLER LAW, LLP.