August 29,2016– The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has concluded that the bypassing of machine safety interlocks caused the fatality at Carlson Tool & Manufacturing in March 2016, after conducting an investigation. OSHA has issued a citation and a notification of a penalty of about $125,000. According to the citation this incident was not a one off incident but just one out of several incidents (about 10 or so), where safety interlocks of various machines were bypassed.
OSHA’s area director of the Milwaukee office said, “All too often, OSHA finds employers are complacent with machine safety features and bypass them to speed production. This worker’s tragic death was preventable. Carlson Tool & Manufacturing must re-evaluate its overall safety and health management system, including their machine safety programs and procedures to ensure they are effective.”
Companies must understand that safety interlocks on machines are there for a very good reason, which is to prevent injuries and fatalities to workers. At a minimum basic OSHA standards for machine guarding such as OSHA 29 CFR 1910.212
General Requirements for (Guarding of) All Machines
must be followed in addition to several other standards that deal with machine safety published by ANSI, ISO and IEC. For an excellent Safety Instrumented Systems training, please click here.