Hazardous energy accidents in the workplace

There are many potential sources of hazardous energy at workplaces in Tennessee. Electrical, hydraulic, chemical and mechanical energy sources can all be very dangerous if they are not properly controlled. To prevent injuries caused by hazardous energy, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration advises employers to implement appropriate lockout/tagout procedures.

According to OSHA, almost 10 percent of the serious workplace accidents that occur on job sites in many industries are the result of hazardous energy. The failure to control hazardous energy is often the cause of serious and fatal injuries that are sustained by laborers, electricians and machine operators. Injuries from hazardous energy could be electrocutions, burns, amputations or crushing.

Employers implement lockout/tagout procedures in order to ensure the safety of workers who are cleaning or repairing machines. By creating clear instructions for disabling a machine’s connection to its energy source, employers may prevent injuries from hazardous energy. A worker who is servicing a machine that is supposed to be shut down could sustain serious injuries when the machine suddenly starts up, short circuits or releases a jam. In addition to implementing lockout/tagout procedures, employers should educate all of their employees about the purpose of the procedures.

Hazardous energy accidents can be very serious, and many workers who are injured in such incidents are left permanently disabled. A lawyer can often help a worker who has been injured in an accident involving hazardous energy with the preparation and filing of a workers’ compensation claim. If a worker is killed in a job-related accident, a lawyer may assist the surviving family members with their claim for death benefits.