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.
- Occupational safety
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health