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Am J Ind Med. 2008 Oct;51(10):728-34. doi: 10.1002/ajim.20630.

Circumstances of fatal lockout/tagout-related injuries in manufacturing.

Author information

1
Department of Public Health, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003, USA. bulzacchelli@schoolph.umass.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Over the past few decades, hundreds of manufacturing workers have suffered fatal injuries while performing maintenance and servicing on machinery and equipment. Using lockout/tagout procedures could have prevented many of these deaths.

METHODS:

A narrative text analysis of OSHA accident investigation report summaries was conducted to describe the circumstances of lockout/tagout-related fatalities occurring in the US manufacturing industry from 1984 to 1997.

RESULTS:

The most common mechanisms of injury were being caught in or between parts of equipment, electrocution, and being struck by or against objects. Typical scenarios included cleaning a mixer or blender, cleaning a conveyor, and installing or disassembling electrical equipment. Lockout procedures were not even attempted in the majority (at least 58.8%) of fatal incidents reviewed.

CONCLUSIONS:

Lockout/tagout-related fatalities occur under a wide range of circumstances. Enhanced training and equipment designs that facilitate lockout and minimize worker contact with machine parts may prevent many lockout/tagout-related injuries.

PMID:
18702095
DOI:
10.1002/ajim.20630
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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