This company exposed workers to lockout/tagout hazards, according to a $70,000 OSHA fine.
Employees at Miller Compressing Co. in Milwaukee were performing maintenance on a 7,000-horsepower shredder at the company’s scrap processing facility. OSHA investigators said that maintenance was being done without isolating the machine’s energy source.
It’s a scary prospect for workers: a huge shredding machine powering up while workers were doing maintenance on it. It scared someone enough to lodge a complaint with the local OSHA office, which prompted the inspection.
Inspectors issued only two violations, but they were both classified as willful, totaling $70,000. The fines were for:
- failing to lock out the electrical power source of a 7,000-horsepower shredder, and
- have adequate energy control procedures in place for maintenance and servicing.
Avoiding OSHA fines for lockout/tagout
- Develop, implement, and enforce an energy control program.
- Use lockout devices for equipment that can be locked out. Tagout devices may be used in lieu of lockout devices only if the tagout program provides employee protection equivalent to that provided through a lockout program.
- Ensure that new or overhauled equipment is capable of being locked out, and
- Develop, implement, and enforce an effective tagout program if machines or equipment are not capable of being locked out.
- aspects of the employer’s energy control program
- elements of the energy control procedure relevant to the employee’s duties or assignment, and
- the various requirements of the OSHA standards related to lockout/tagout.