OSHA Citation Case Study

Ohio Plant Fined $70,000 for LOTO Procedure Violations

Date First Published on SafetySmart Compliance: March 6th, 2012
Topics: Lockout Tagout |

What this employer did wrong and how to avoid making the same LOTO mistakes yourself.

Who Got Cited: A snack food plant in Cold Water, Ohio was fined $112,000, including $70,000 for 2 willful LOTO violations.

What Triggered the Inspection: OSHA got a complaint that a worker was hurt while servicing a machine because his clothes got snagged in a conveyor belt.

What the Employer Did Wrong: It committed 2 violations of Sec. 1910.147(c)(4)(i) of the LOTO standard by letting employees perform 2 operations without a machine-specific LOTO procedure for controlling hazardous energy during maintenance and servicing of dangerous machines and equipment:

  • Servicing of the conveyor system in the plant packaging area; and
  • Cleaning of the topical auger in the seasoning area.

Basic Grain Products Inc., No. 12-70-CHI, (Reg. 5), Feb. 22, 2012

How You Can Avoid the Same Violations: There are 2 things you must do to avoid LOTO violations like the ones to Basic Grain:

  1. 1. Determine which machine/equipment service or maintenance operations at your workplace are covered by the LOTO standard (click here for an overview of the standard you can use to do your assessment); and
  2.  For each covered operation, establish an Energy Control Plan(click on the link for a Model Plan you can adapt) that includes:
    1. Energy control procedures; (click on the link for model procedures you can adapt)
    2. Appropriate LOTO devices; (click on the link for a tagout devices checklist)
    3.  Periodic inspections of energy control procedures; (click on the link to find out how to conduct appropriate inspections; click here for a Model Energy Control Inspection form you can adapt)
    4. Train employees on your energy control procedures (click on the link to access LOTO Safety Talks you can use to provide training to your employees; click here to find out how to document and verify the effectiveness of LOTO training)