Tuesday, January 27, 2004

This Is Why There's A Lockout-Tagout Standard

After you read this article, check out OSHA's Lockout-Tagout standard and other materials on the OSHA webpage.
A city sanitation worker was crushed to death yesterday after she got caught in the machinery of a front-loading garbage truck, police said.

Eva Barrientos, 41, was standing on the cab trying to release a garbage bag lodged in the truck parked in Brooklyn yesterday about 8 a.m. As she was doing so, the truck's mechanical arms pinned her to the vehicle, Sanitation Department officials said.


The truck, operated by Barrientos, had arms that lift trash bins around the front to dump out garbage. Mellis said when trash gets stuck in the truck, standard protocol allows workers to climb onto the truck and pull the garbage out.

"It's part of the operation," he said
After you read some of the materials on lockout-tagout, especially this NIOSH Bulletin, you may find it curious that the headline on the New York Times version of the story read:
City Sanitation Worker Killed in a Freakish Truck Accident

A city sanitation worker died in a freakish accident in Brooklyn yesterday after she was pinned on top of a garbage truck by a mechanical lever, city officials said.
Actually, there was nothing "freakish" about this accident. Hundreds of workers are crushed in energized machinery every year.