Lockout/tagout procedures in a Wisconsin workplace can save lives. However, many businesses are still earning citations from OSHA because they’re not properly utilizing the procedures. Because of this issue, their employees could be more vulnerable to on-the-job accidents, injuries and fatalities.
What are the most common issues with lockout/tagout procedures?
One common issue involves supervisors neglecting to write clear, concise procedures. They don’t give their employees clear instructions or expect them to use the same procedure on every piece of equipment. As a result, their equipment isn’t shut down properly, which can cause accidents and lead to workers’ comp claims.
To resolve this issue, employers need to inspect every piece of equipment and write specific lockout/tagout instructions that let their employees know exactly what they need to do. Employers can also include pictures of the equipment to make the instructions easier to understand. Additionally, employers should realize that not every piece of equipment has the same lockout/tagout procedure, so they’ll need to write a different set of instructions each time.
Once they’ve done this, employers need to communicate the importance of the lockout/tagout program to their employees. They should also conduct inspections to ensure that these procedures are being observed in the workplace. Periodically, employers should review their procedures to make sure that they’re still effective and relevant. It might sound time-consuming, but it’s better than risking injuries and fatalities because a piece of equipment wasn’t shut down correctly.
Should you hire an attorney if you’re seeking workers’ comp?
If you’re backed by an attorney, you might find it easier to seek workers’ comp benefits from your employer. Your attorney may educate you on filing a claim and help you appeal if your claim was rejected. Your employer might be less likely to deny your claim if they see that you’re backed by an attorney.