Oct 15 2021

It is Better to LockOut than Luck Out

It’s Better to LOCKOUT than to LUCK OUT

Some tools can’t be replaced!

OSHA defines amputations as the traumatic loss of all or part of a limb or other external body part. This would include fingertip amputations with or without bone loss, medical amputations resulting from irreparable damage, and amputations of body parts that have since been reattached. Since workplace amputations result in workers taking an average of 31 days away from work to recover, which is 22 days more than any other injury, we must spread the word that some tools (our fingers/hands to name a few) just can’t be replaced!

Did you know that in 2018, 58% of work-related amputations involved machinery such as mechanical power presses, powered and non-powered conveyors, meat grinders, and more. The most common machine locations for amputation occur at:

  • the point of operation
  • power-transmission apparatuses
  • other moving points

So, you may be thinking “How can our workers be protected from amputation hazards”?

First, hazards must be recognized or identified through periodic workplace inspections. Once the inspections are performed, the methods to manage and/or control the identified hazards should be developed based on the hierarchy of controls pictured below. Another way to protect workers from amputations is by machine safeguarding. Guards that provide barriers to prevent access to hazardous areas and/or devices that can interrupt the normal cycle of the machine when the operator’s hands are at a hazardous point are very effective controls in preventing injury or amputation. Finally, we must be sure our workers are trained in the safe use of equipment and that they are utilizing proper lockout/tagout procedures to control hazardous energy.

Hierarchy of Controls infographic

Let’s stand down to amputations and make worker safety our number one priority – we must make sure that our employees walk out of the facility the same way they came in. TRS Wellness can assist you in your injury prevention programming by conducting periodic inspections, identifying hazard controls, providing effective employee training, ensuring your workers are utilizing proper lockout/tagout procedures and reminding them often that “It is better to LOCKOUT than to LUCK OUT!”

Beth Goodwin

Athletic Trainer