OSHA requires lockout/tagout protocol to be in place for every warehouse and distribution center, but many businesses fail to put a system in place to assure it happens. Complacency can cost you. Making sure that a potentially dangerous vehicle is locked down until it is deemed safe to operate is vital to ensuring worker safety and protecting inventory from costly damage.
- Forklifts can be one of the most dangerous vehicles in a warehouse. Within the warehousing industry, about 20,000 workers are injured in forklift accidents each year.
- OSHA is paying closer attention to lockout/tagout measures right now and will issue fines for violations.
- Three out of 10 warehouses and distribution facilities lack a proper lockout/tagout program for lift truck vehicles sidelined for repairs.
Why Lockout/Tagout matters
When an operator uses equipment that should have been tagged out for repairs, the vehicle is unsafe and operating the vehicle may result in injury. Operators should never assume that nothing bad will happen if they use a truck with mechanical issues.
On average, workers lose 24 work days for recuperation due to injuries caused by machinery not being properly shut off or locked down. Appropriate telematic lockout/tagout measures can prevent both the injury and loss of labor. Telematics can alert employees that certain pieces of equipment have been temporarily taken out of service and prevent the vehicle from being operated until it’s repaired.
Here are a few facts you should know:
- Failing to use a lockout/tagout system is an OSHA violation.
Having no lockout system in place is one of OSHA’s most cited safety violations, resulting in more than $7.7 million in associated penalties each year.
- Lockout/tagout can prevent the need for more extensive repairs
Postponing forklift repairs can turn a small repair into a bigger one. Using damaged equipment can make the problem worse.
- Lockout/tagout protects everyone in the facility
It can save lives – compliance to lockout/tagout procedures prevents approximately 250,000 accidents, 50,000 injuries, and 120 fatalities annually.
Using a reliable lockout/tag out procedure can render equipment completely inoperable during maintenance or repairs. A telematic system that provides this security will ensure safety and provide valuable data regarding why a forklift is in lockout, the duration, the operator involved, and when the repair is scheduled, putting you in complete control of compliance.