Observation and analysis of 57 lockout procedures applied to machinery in 8 sawmills

Occupational health and safety regulations require the application of lockout procedures to prevent injuries and fatalities in Canada and in other countries. Absences of lockout procedures or incorrect lockout procedures are linked to many accidents involving machinery in the literature. This paper presents the findings of qualitative research which examined how workers involved in repairs, maintenance or unjamming activities inside or around hazardous zones of machinery apply lockout procedures. This subject was investigated in 8 sawmills in Quebec by observing the application of 57 lockout procedures. Based on the observations, it can be said that important steps in the lockout procedures are omitted. Some interventions are carried out without lockout procedures, exposing workers to hazards. Machine safeguarding in sawmills presents serious flaws and the safety of workers depend heavily on correct lockout procedures.

Source: Poisson P, Chinniah Y. Safety Sci. 2015; 72: 160-171.

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