Workplace Safety: A Fatality Close to Home

By Frank Kenna, with Ed LaFreniere

I was at a meeting earlier this week with a group of colleagues from other companies. One of them got an urgent call during the meeting—a fatality had occurred in a manufacturing facility he runs in the northeast U.S. as the result of a workplace safety issue.

According to police officials, a worker was servicing a piece of equipment, when another employee started the machine the man was working on. The other employee was unable to shut off the machinery before the man was killed. This was a case of failing to follow lockout/tagout procedures—shutting down every possible source of energy during maintenance procedures.

Seeing the expression my friend’s face as he took the call told the story.  One dead, a remaining shattered wife and children – and the forever-haunted man who unknowingly pulled the switch that killed his co-worker.

The issues mentioned above are major ones that that we address routinely. Yet more examples of how real workplace hazards are, and how important our program is in reminding workers about the dangers.

This is what we’re all about.

Sharon Toelle
February 11, 2011

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