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Preventing Machining Accidents with Lock-Out Procedures

Some of the most dangerous and deadly workplace accidents are caught-in/between and machining accidents. Workers caught inside or near heavy machining that activates unexpectedly may suffer a crush injury, head injury, amputation, and many other severe injuries. Most often, a machining accident happens when equipment is being serviced or maintained and the machinery starts up while the employee is still conducting work.

In order to stop a crush injury or machining accident, employers with heavy machinery onsite should have lock-out procedures in place. Every employee needs to be told about lock-out processes, even if they are not permitted to conduct lock-outs on their own. Indeed, lock-out and tag-out procedures are often only allowed to be completed by employees with special safety training to ensure the process is not done incorrectly.

What is a typical lock-out procedure for heavy equipment to be serviced?

  1. Let all workers in the area know you intend to shut down the equipment or machinery.
  2. Turn off the equipment using any off switches built into it, or using any electronic commands available.
  3. Unplug or disconnect the machinery from any external power sources. Remove internal power sources, like batteries, if safe to do so. Isolate the machinery from remote power sources.
  4. Turn off and lock the power source to prevent others for reconnecting or reapplying it to the machine. Heavy machinery often requires a padlock to be placed on power panels installed on nearby walls, preventing them from being switched to the on position.
  5. When all workers are clear of the machinery or equipment, release any stored energy, if necessary.
  6. Attempt to use the machine normally to verify it no longer has any available power to operate.

When all of the aforementioned steps are completed before any machine servicing, the chances of a machining accident occurring should be dramatically reduced, if not entirely eliminated. If you have not been notified of lock-out procedures in your workplace, you may want to talk to your employer or supervisor about where you can get the appropriate information.

After being in a workplace accident, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to help you make ends meet while you recover and miss work. Filing for workers’ compensation may be more difficult than you anticipate, though, especially if your employer or the insurance company is being uncooperative. To take the guesswork out of your claim and work towards a beneficial conclusion, contact Brooks Law and our Medford workers’ compensation lawyers. We are capable of assisting you with initial filings, additional inquiries, and even taking your case to court if need be.