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Do you face risk of hazardous energy releases?

Those who work in construction or in industrial settings can be seriously injured and even killed by a release of hazardous energy. These risks can occur during the performance of their everyday tasks or during an emergency situation when protocols are bypassed.

Energy has many sources on a busy jobsite and include:

  • Mechanical
  • Chemical
  • Electrical
  • Pneumatic
  • Hydraulic
  • Thermal

Energy can accumulate in equipment and machinery and be discharged in a burst when the machines are being serviced or during routine maintenance tasks.

Effects of hazardous energy releases

Various forms of destructive energy releases can result in many types of worker injuries. You could face some or all of the following on your job:

  • Fractures
  • Amputations
  • Electrocution
  • Cuts
  • Lacerations
  • Burns
  • Crushing injuries

Lockout, tagout protocols save lives and limbs

Safety-focused companies make sure that their workers are well trained in the proper lockout/tagout (LOTO) protocols to protect their employees from releases of hazardous energy. Lockout/tagout practices and procedures safely disable equipment and machinery to prevent worker injuries and deaths in the event of a hazardous energy release.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set a standard to control hazardous energy. These guidelines offer ways to control the release of hazardous energy in the workplace.

LOTO liability rests with companies

Your employer has the responsibility of training their employees in proper LOTO procedures and see that these protocols are followed. If they are not sufficiently proactive in this area, their workers will be the ones to suffer when a deadly accident occurs.

Injuries from a failure to use LOTO protocols can be catastrophic and career-ending. Even if you are lucky enough to be spared your life, you could lose a limb or be permanently paralyzed by the accident. You many never again be able to work and earn a living to support your family. You could face months of hospitalization and grueling rehabilitation efforts to relearn how to walk, talk and complete your activities of daily life (ADLs).

Workers' compensation benefits can help you get back on your feet again following your workplace injury. To access all of the benefits to which you are eligible, it's important to learn all you can about Illinois laws regarding workplace accidents and injuries.

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