Lockout Tagout Violations Deemed Willful and Serious

Lockout Tagout Safety procedures are essential to proper safety protocol.

Lockout Tagout policies came under scrutiny at Ardagh Glass when OSHA levied a willful violation and one serious safety violation. Proposed penalties total $77,000. The safety violations took place at the company’s Warner Robins, Georgia location.  OSHA conducted the inspection under its National Emphasis Program on Amputations after a worker lost a finger removing glass.

Ardagh Glass’ parent company is Ardagh Group of Tampa, Florida. Ardagh Glass produces glass packaging for major companies and brands worldwide. Ardagh Group manages over 100 facilities in 25 countries. The company employs nearly 18,000 employees.

The serious violation involved neglecting to implement proper lockout tagout protocol that would make sure certain workers were protected from coming in contact with moving parts and molten glass. Ardagh’s violation here could have been avoided, and the worker could have kept his finger, if they would have followed proper lockout tagout procedures.

In a statement sent to the website http://www.foodqualitynews.com, Ardagh Glass shared that the Warner Robins, Georgia facility is a newly acquired location and currently efforts are focused on upgrading the facility to comply with company safety standards and expectations, including lockout-tagout.  Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-East Area Office emphasized Ardagh Glass is responsible for protecting workers and implementing safety standards.

Importance of Lockout Tagout Procedures

Lockout Tagout issues arise with improper protection from what OSHA calls Hazardous Energy. Hazardous energy comes from many sources, such as electrical, mechanical, chemical, pneumatic and many other sources that have the potential to cause serious injury. It is estimated that injuries resulting from the failure to control this hazardous energy account for 10% of the injuries in many industries. Proper lockout tagout (LOTO) practices and procedures can drastically reduce these injuries. OSHA covers these procedures in their published standard 29 CFR 1910.147. In addition to LOTO procedures, most employees need to go through standardized training in order to practice and become aware of these dangerous scenarios. This training should be repeated on a regular basis to assure employees are compliant with the latest standards.