Pennsylvania employers are required to ensure that their workplaces are as safe as possible for their employees. One of the methods many employers are using in this regard is a lockout program. This seeks to ensure that the power source to heavy equipment or machinery is cut off before the employee begins to provide service for that piece of equipment or machinery.
While lockout programs can certainly prevent workplace injuries, there are many shortcomings. Some employers fail to provide updated guidance, or fail to provide any guidelines at all. Further, lockout devices may not be within reach of the machinery or equipment, making them less likely to be used. In some cases, the safety kits that are provided may have too many devices that do not work for the machines that need work, making it time-consuming or problematic for the employees to find the right equipment.
Some employers have taken the steps to ensure that employees become engaged in these programs. One way is to have a lockout mentor who helps ensure that safe practices are being utilized. This mentor also provides training and guidance for those who are new. Further, companies with successful programs often have the necessary lockout tools near the equipment.
When employees are not provided the proper safety tools or guidance, the risks of on-the-job injuries increase. Those who are injured in a workplace accident may be eligible to seek workers' compensation benefits under their employer's insurance policy. Many injured workers obtain the assistance of an attorney when preparing and submitting their claims to ensure that they are complete and are filed on a timely basis.