Jan. 21 Safety Council presentation outlines lockout/tagout safety procedures

BEMIDJI, Minn. — Bill Berndt will explain the intricacies of lockout/tagout safety procedures during an 11:30 a.m. program Wednesday, Jan. 21, at the Bemidji State University Center for Research and Innovation, located at 3801 Bemidji Avenue North.

A $25 fee will be charged to cover the price of materials and lunch for the 90-minute session, presented as part of a Northern Minnesota Safety Council series on safety issues. Advanced registration is required at least two days prior to the event.

Lockout/tagout is used in industry and other settings to ensure that dangerous machines are properly shut off and not started again prior to the completion of maintenance or servicing. It requires that hazardous power sources be isolated and made inoperative before any repairs are initiated. It typically entails a lock placed on the device or power source to impede the starting process and a tag affixed to the device indicating that it should not be turned on.

“In 2007, lockout/tagout was the fourth most frequently cited violation of Occupational Safety & Health Administration safety standards nationwide,” said Berndt, who works in the workplace safety consultation section of the Minnesota OSHA. “Many workers across the nation are injured and disabled every day because safe work practices are not followed. A good, effective lockout/tagout program will decrease injuries and make the workplace safer.”

Compliance with lockout/tagout standards prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year. In a study conducted by the United Auto Workers, 20 percent of the fatalities that occurred during a 22-year period were attributed to inadequate hazardous energy control, specifically lockout/tagout, procedures.

During the presentation, Berndt will cover the scope of LOTO’s application, definitions, procedures and training. The program will benefit any employer or employee who is involved with conducting maintenance on equipment containing electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal or other energy sources that could potentially cause exposure to injuries.

Berndt has been employed by MnOSHA for nine years, six in enforcement and three in workplace safety consultation. Before working at MnOSHA, he spent 28 years in the plastics processing industry with experience in production management, plant safety, health, program development, training and OSHA as well as Minnesota Pollution Control Agency compliance.

Sponsored by the CRI and the Northern Minnesota Safety Council, the session is part of a series that features experts on topics relating to safety from around the state. Programs are scheduled on the third Wednesday of each month.

Groups on the Bemidji Area Safety Council helping support and organize the presentations include Bi-County CAP, Beltrami County, North Central Door Company, Potlatch, and Tri-Valley.

For more information, or to be added to the mailing list for the series, contact the Bemidji State University Center for Research and Innovation at (218) 755-4900; (888) 738-3224; cri@bemidjistate.edu; or at http://www.cri-bsu.org.

Jan. 21
– noon – Bemidji State University Center for Research and Innovation hosts Northern Minnesota Safety Council presentation on lockout/tagout safety procedures. Presenter: Bill Berndt, workplace safety consultant, Minnesota OSHA. Location: CRI; 3801 Bemidji Ave. N.; Bemidji, Minn. Cost: $25, includes lunch; advance registration required by Jan. 19. For information: (218) 755-4900; (888) 738-3224; cri@bemidjistate.edu; http://www.cri-bsu.org.