The lockout/tagout procedure is one of the most important safety procedures in California workplaces. This procedure protects employees from dangerous machines that could cause severe injuries or fatalities. Despite the importance of this procedure, lockout/tagout issues are commonly cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Here’s how employers can maintain a safe workplace for their employees.
How can employers make sure that everyone’s on the same page?
One of the most important things that employers can do is educate their employees about lockout/tagout procedures. They need to make sure that everyone in the company is familiar with the procedure and follows the same instructions. This includes workers, supervisors, managers and everyone else involved with the job site.
Employers should also follow a strict procedure during the lockout/tagout process. This involves informing employees that they’re going to shut off the equipment, turning off the machine, tagging the equipment and making sure that the machine is completely dead and energy-free. They should write out this procedure and make sure that everyone follows the same steps.
Additionally, employers should periodically review their procedure and look out for any consistencies. Instead of using one set of instructions for every machine, they should write detailed instructions that are tailored to different machines. They should also set a good example for their employees and perform frequent inspections. If their employees feel that their supervisors aren’t taking this seriously, they might cut corners and improperly tag a machine, which can lead to accidents. Injured employees might have to take time off work and file for workers’ compensation.
What should you do if you’re injured on the job?
It’s your employer’s responsibility to maintain a safe working environment. This includes providing safety equipment, observing lockout/tagout procedures, removing hazards from the job site and more. If your employer fails to do this and you get injured on the job, you might qualify for worker’s compensation.
An attorney may help you file a claim and bring the case to court if your claim is denied. Your attorney may also represent you if your employer retaliates or fires you from your position.