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Controlling hazardous energy in the workplace

On Behalf of | May 15, 2023 | Worker Safety |

A warehouse worker’s regular day revolves around keeping the flow of goods moving efficiently through the warehouse. Sometimes, they might be too caught up in routine maintenance work and can overlook potential hazards in their workplace.

One of the most significant hazards that warehouse workers face is hazardous energy. If not properly controlled, it can cause serious injuries or even death.

Safety obligations

In the U.S., the lockout-tagout (LOTO) policies need to be fully compliant with the following required components:

  • Documented standardized LOTO energy control procedures
  • Training of all authorized and affected employees
  • All workers should have a working knowledge of the LOTO program
  • Proper installation of LOTO devices and locks
  • A periodic inspection that includes LOTO auditing every 12 months by authorized employees

LOTO procedures are only a part of a larger set of necessary safety procedures to control hazardous energy. Failure to comply with these safety obligations can result in significant fines, penalties and reputational damage to the warehouse. More importantly, it can compromise workers’ safety.

Compensation for hazardous energy-related injury

Hazardous energy can come from various sources, such as electrical, mechanical, hydraulic and pneumatic equipment. It can expose workers to serious risks such as electrocution, burns, crushing injuries, amputations and even death.

If you’ve been injured at work due to a safety violation, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other losses. You can seek compensation through no-fault workers’ compensation benefits, which do not require you to prove fault. Additionally, you may be able to file a personal injury claim to seek full compensation for your losses.

However, benefits do not cover all injury-related losses and strict rules and deadlines apply in filing claims. Hence, consulting with an attorney is important to protect your legal rights.

The reality is that hazardous energy incidents can happen instantly and change your life forever. You must understand the risks of hazardous energy and take steps to prevent it from causing harm in your workplace.