Workers in Pennsylvania who deal with machinery and electricity are often at a higher risk of a serious on-the-job injury. This is one reason why lockout and tagout, or LOTO, rules are a major priority for the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. LOTO is used when a piece of equipment or a power supply needs to be maintained or service or when a guard or other type of safety device needs to be removed or bypassed to allow for repairs or other work. The safety procedure ensures that dangerous equipment is shut off and cannot be accidentally restarted; in many cases, visible red padlocks are used to designate a machine on LOTO.

The worker performing the service will hold the keys in order to be able to restart the machinery only when the service is complete. However, there are a number of specifics that apply to the standard, and compliance is critical for preventing dangerous workplace accidents. The consequences of failing to use a proper LOTO system can be devastating for workers or even fatal; when workers deal with electricity that is not properly turned off, they could face electrocution and severe burns.

There are 3 million American workers who regularly service equipment and face serious hazards; those who are injured are forced to take an average of 24 days outside the workplace to recover. Accidents that are caused by a failure to control hazardous energy comprise 10 percent of serious accidents across industries.

Each year, there are over 2,500 amputations. Workers injured in these kinds of incidents may need lengthy rehabilitation time. When people are hurt on the job, they have a right to compensation, and that is escalated when safety violations are involved. A workers’ compensation lawyer may help injured workers protect their rights and pursue the benefits they deserve.