Employers in South Carolina know that lockout-tagout procedures are necessary on job sites where dangerous machinery or hazardous energy sources are present. Compliance with lockout-tagout has consistently appeared on OSHA’s list of the top 10 most frequently cited standards, which means that employers need to do a lot more in this area to ensure the safety of their workers.
It should all begin with the standardization of one’s lockout-tagout program. The program should show employees where the locks and procedures are located in order to speed up training and improve retention. All departments and facilities should be standardized so that the program is easier to track and maintain at every location.
Consistent expectations are key in this regard. These can be reflected in a standard audit schedule, which sets expectations for updates and reviews at a certain date every year. There should be a standard template for procedures so that all the critical information for audits will be in familiar areas.
Getting employees familiar with the lockout-tagout procedure and involving them in the standardization process helps promote a safety-oriented work culture. Besides training those authorized to perform the procedures, employers can train workers who use the machinery that is being maintained and employees who tend to be in the area when that machinery is being maintained.
Though employers do everything they can to improve safety, this does not guarantee that there will be no accidents. Injured employees, for their part, have the option of filing for workers’ comp benefits, which may compensate them for medical expenses and a percentage of the wages they lost during their physical recovery. Getting legal counsel may be a good idea, though, since employers may blame their employees for their own injuries. A lawyer may help in mounting an appeal in such a case.