Three out of 10 warehouse or distribution facilities lack a proper lockout/tagout program for lift-truck vehicles sidelined for repairs. This means that 70% are risking the safety of their employees and inventory. Are you one of them?
This can be a big risk to take, since the forklift is probably the most dangerous vehicle in a warehouse. In fact, the warehousing industry has about 20,000 workers injured in forklift accidents each year.
Then there’s the potential for costly fines. OSHA announced it will be paying closer attention to lockout/tagout measures in 2018, issuing fines for violations.
If OSHA inspectors are paying close attention to your tagout functionality, shouldn’t you?
5 reasons lockout/tagout should be a priority
Ensuring that a potentially dangerous vehicle is locked down until it is deemed safe to operate is vital to operator safety and protecting inventory.
Here are 4 reasons why:
1. What an operator doesn’t know can hurt them.
A sidelined piece of equipment can do something unexpected that leads to injury. On average, workers lose 24 work days for recuperation due to injuries caused by machinery not being properly shut off.
Appropriate lockout/tagout measures, like those found in a telematics system, can alert employees that certain pieces of equipment have been temporarily disabled or taken out of service.
Being complacent about the importance of repairs is a common issue. Operators should never assume that nothing bad will happen if they use a truck with mechanical issues.
2. Failing to use a lockout/tagout system is an OSHA violation.
Regulations require employers to put safety procedures in place to protect workers by totally isolating machinery from the energy sources that drive them. 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. Compliance with lockout/tagout regulations prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year.
3. It can prevent the need for larger repairs.
Putting off vehicle repairs can actually cost more in downtime and mechanical damage, taking a small repair and making it a big one.
4. Inventory damage is costly.
Using lift equipment with mechanical issues can damage inventory, which can impact your bottom line. Also, you can’t ship damaged inventory, so shipments can be delayed if damages occur, impacting your reputation.
You can drastically reduce accidents, inventory loss, injuries, and fatalities when vehicle lockdown/tagout systems are in place. A telematic lockout/tagout function is a smart, simple way to ensure vehicles are inoperable during safety check questions, repairs, or maintenance.