In OSHA's LOTO standard (1910.147) the agency included in their definition of an "lockoout device" a "blank flange" and "bolted slip blind", when in fact these device are actually "energy isolation devices". So why would OSHA consider these devices a "lockout device"?
NOTE: I am not in agreement with this and have never called a "blank flange" and "bolted slip blind" a "lockout device", but rather energy isolation devices. This may seem like semantics, but it is HUGE in the world of energy control!
In the Final Rule, OSHA determined that lockout is a surer means of assuring deenergization of equipment than tagout, and that it is the preferred method. However, the Agency also recognized that tagout will nonetheless need to be used instead of lockout where the energy control device cannot accept a locking device. Where an energy control device has been designed to be "lockable", the standard REQUIRES that lockout be used unless tagout can be shown to provide "full employee protection," that is, protection equivalent to lockout. But what does OSHA consider to be "locakable"?
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has released the panel investigation report into the November 20, 2014 explosion and fatality on a platform. The explosion occurred on West Delta Block 105 Platform E, resulting in the tragic death of Jerrel Hancock. Mr. Hancock, a Turnkey Cleaning Services supervisor, died after an explosion occurred inside the electrostatic heater treater located on the platform while the contract cleaning crew personnel were engaged in activities related to cleaning the vessel. The five member investigation panel identified a number of failures in the application of basic safety management practices which may have contributed to Mr. Hancock’s death. The report concludes that there were apparent inadequacies in:
Crushed by and caught-in between machinery (TN-OSHA Inspection #1041324)
A 54 year old male employee was fatality injured while cleaning the de-stacker area of the mogul machine in the gummies department when he was crushed between a tray of product, and the frame of the de-stacker mechanism of the mogul machine. The mogul machine would become obstructed during the day with falling and shifting gummy trays, and starch. The track that moved the trays would get covered with these materials and would need to be cleaned with a pneumatic air wand. The victim performed the company lockout/tagout procedure for the mogul machine, and locked out the vertical movement of the de-stacker. As the victim entered the machine for cleaning, he inadvertently struck a positional sensor inside of the track system, and advanced the candy trays into the machine. The victim was standing directly adjacent to the metal frame of the de-stacker mechanism when a stack of trays began to advance into the machine, crushing him between a tray of product and the frame of the de-stacker.
Caught in Auger Fatality (TN-OSHA Inspection #1040935)
A 38 year old male was fatality injured when his arm, and upper body was pulled into an operating auger as he leaned over the catwalk railing to clean, and sanitize a poultry processing chiller tank. The victim, along with other employees, were cleaning, and sanitizing the reverse flow, cold water chillers in a poultry processing plant. The victim was told to stay on the central catwalk, and left alone to spray down the tank interior of Chiller #2 with hot water, and sanitizing solution while the auger was in operation. During the cleaning process, a nearby employee heard a noise, and saw the victim’s legs extending from beneath the guard rail positioned approximately 15 inches above the top of the tank. The emergency pull cable was activated immediately. The victim was fatality injured by blunt force trauma to the body. There were no witnesses to the actual incident, but it remains a possibility the employee moved from the central catwalk, to the outer catwalk of Chiller #2 reaching in with his arm, and body to clean the interior of the tank, and was caught by the auger blade, pulling the employee into the tank from the catwalk. This was his sixth day of employment.