Many workers in North Carolina work around machines that have the potential to become sources of hazardous energy. When machines are not properly shut down for maintenance and repairs, an unexpected startup could seriously injure or kill workers. Serious and fatal injuries can also occur while a worker is unclogging a jammed machine and the source of the jam suddenly clears.
Workers in certain industries are more at risk for accidents involving hazardous energy. People who operate machines or work with electrical wiring are some of the workers who face an elevated risk of hazardous energy injuries. Electrocutions, amputations and burns are some of the injuries that can occur when a machine is not properly shut down for maintenance.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, workers who are injured in hazardous energy accidents usually miss about 24 days of work while they recover. OSHA says that for many industries nearly one in 10 serious job-related accidents are caused by hazardous energy. These accidents may be avoided if workers are properly trained on lockout/tagout procedures before repairing and cleaning machines. OSHA advises employers to train workers on lockout/tagout procedures and educate them on the purpose of the procedures as well.
Causing an average loss of about four work weeks, accidents from hazardous energy can result in a significant financial setback for the injured workers. A person who has been injured in this type of work-related accident may want to have representation from an attorney when preparing and filing a claim for workers' compensation benefits.