A comprehensive and effective Lockout Tagout program is paramount for safety within any workplace where employees can be exposed to hazardous energy. The equipment and workforce within each facility is unique, therefore, lockout tagout programs and their implementation can vary significantly between companies. Unfortunately, many businesses often fail to implement an adequate lockout tagout program within their facility, or in the worst case, don't practice the use of lockout tagout at all. This is highlighted by the fact that lockout tagout continues to be a top 10 OSHA violation each year. In FY2014, lockout tagout was the 6th most cited OSHA standard.

Every year, thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths are attributable to the unexpected release of hazardous energy, and these accidents could have been avoided with the proper utilization of lockout tagout products and procedures. Kina Repp, a nationally recognized motivational and safety speaker, stands as proof that a failure to enforce lock out/ tag out procedures can have a devastating impact.

As a young college student, I was employed at an Alaskan cannery and tasked with cleaning conveyor belts. My first day on the job, I was assigned to clean a large conveyor without safety training, or the supervision of individuals properly trained to operate the equipment, and with no lock out/tag out procedures in place.

What followed was a horrifying chain of events that forced me to fight for survival and changed my life and that of my family. Today, I dedicate myself to sharing the details of that lifeshattering experience in hope of preventing injuries and personal devastation for others. My presentation emphasizes why it is critical to:

  • Have and strictly enforce lock out/tag out procedures;

  • Ensure all personnel associated with energy sources are well-trained in and follow control procedures;

  • Look for and be prepared to mitigate hidden hazards;

  • To ensure individuals protect the well-being of their co-workers; and

  • Ensure new employees understand and follow all safety processes and rules.

My story is an emotional reminder as well about the ripple effect an incident can have others.

This paper outlines the key requirements of OSHA's 1910.147 Control of Hazardous Energy standard and offers best practice recommendations for developing an effective energy control program.

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