OSHA TRADE RELEASE
OSHA Requests Information on Possible Updates to the Lockout/Tagout Standard
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is requesting information on a possible update to the Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout (LOTO)) standard. The Agency is interested in comments on the use of control circuit-type devices to isolate energy, as well as the evolving technology for robotics.
OSHA is requesting information about how employers have been using control circuit devices, including information about the types of circuitry and safety procedures being used; limitations of their use, to determine under what other conditions control circuit-type devices could be used safely; new risks of worker exposure to hazardous energy as a result of increased interaction with robots; and whether the agency should consider changes to the LOTO standard that would address these new risks.
The current LOTO standard, published in 1989, requires that all sources of energy be controlled during servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment using an energy-isolating device. The standard specifies that control circuit devices cannot be used as energy-isolating devices, but the agency recognizes recent technological advances may have improved the safety of control circuit-type devices.
Comments must be submitted on or before August 18, 2019. Comments and materials may be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal, or by facsimile or mail. See the Federal Register notice for submission details.
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OSHA News Release – Region 4
$303,657 Proposed in Penalties
NATCHEZ, MS – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited von Drehle Corp. – a paper products manufacturer – for several workplace safety hazards that put employees at risk of injury at its facility in Natchez, Mississippi. The paper manufacturer faces $303,657 in penalties, including one for the maximum amount allowed by law.
An OSHA inspection of the company’s facility resulted in citations for exposing employees to electrical hazards; lack of machine guarding; allowing combustible dust to accumulate on surfaces; failing to lockout machinery to control hazardous energy;exposing employees to arc-flash; and allowing slip, trip, and fall hazards.
“Employers are required to assess potential hazards, and make necessary corrections to ensure a safe workplace,” said OSHA Jackson Area Office Director Courtney Bohannon. “The inspection results demonstrate workplace deficiencies existed putting workers at serious risk of injury or death.”
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OSHA investigating incident involving utility worker in Texas
The United States Department of Labor is investigating a workplace accident involving a utility worker in Brazos County.
An employee of Echo Powerline doing contract work for Bryan Texas Utilities (BTU) was shocked while working on utility lines south of College Station, TX on Wednesday. He was taken by a medical helicopter to a hospital following the accident. His condition is unknown at this time.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) confirmed it is investigating the incident. Officials won’t release more details until the investigation is completed.
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OSHA cites solar contractor almost $40,000 after fatal electrocution of one of their workers
The agency said Wednesday that it cited Power Factor LLC for four serious violations after the employee, who has not been identified, died July 24, 3018, while installing solar panels at the base. In their findings, the agency says the employee was hoisting a metal rail that came into contact with overhead power lines.
OSHA cited the company for allowing employees to work too closely to electrical power circuits without de-energizing and grounding the circuits, or guarding the circuits using insulation or other means. Officials also said the company didn’t regularly inspect the job site or train workers to recognize and avoid hazards.
“This tragedy could have been prevented if the employer had complied with electrical standards that require maintaining a safe distance from unprotected energized power lines, training employees, and providing personal protective equipment,” said OSHA Wichita Area Director Ryan Hodge.
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