There’s no excuse for putting profits before worker safety. According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) work injury report survey, moving machine parts resulted in 88 percent of all equipment-related injuries among respondents. Investing in lock out tag out (LOTO) training helps save lives, prevent costly legal proceedings, and protect a company’s reputation.
The Case of Ashley Furniture
Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc. found out the hard way that there’s no shortcut for worker safety. The Wisconsin-based furniture manufacturer had more than 1,000 employee injuries in the span of three years, over a 100 of them resulting in amputations from woodworking machinery. After a July 2014 accident cost one worker three fingers, OSHA inspectors probed the company and uncovered a dozen willful and repeated safety infractions, and 14 serious safety infractions. In accordance with its strict violator enforcement program, OSHA fined Ashley Furniture nearly $1.8 million for its oversights.
A Lack of Lock Out Tag Out Training
Ashley Furniture repeatedly failed to protect workers from moving machinery risks. The company failed to provide LOTO training, which would have helped its workers identify and avoid machine-related hazards. There were no safeguards in place to prevent machines from starting during servicing or to protect workers from moving blades and other dangerous parts.
The Need for a Culture of Safety
U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez traced the problem to company culture, concluding that Ashley Furniture accepted worker injuries as a cost – a completely avoidable one – of high production and profits. However, successful companies with good safety records bear out the fact that safety and profits are never mutually exclusive, a lesson all companies should take to heart. In reality, putting in place good safety training and strong safety standards helps create better overall processes and procedures that improve employee morale, performance and productivity.
Invest in LOTO Training
Workers should never enter a project without proper safety knowledge. OSHA lock out tag out guidelines help workers protect themselves and their co-workers from machine-related hazards, and help managers establish workplace safety procedures and create low-risk working environments. Our free LOTO training tutorial outlines the basics of machine safety, explains industry-specific terms, and analyzes when, where, and how lock out tag training can save lives.
Countless workplace accidents, many fatal, can be traced to a lack of lock out tag out training. Investing just a little time and effort in a LOTO course goes a long way to ensure workers can enter projects with confidence. You can also learn about additional OSHA training courses to keep your company up to date with the latest workplace safety procedures.