Proper Lockout and Training Could Have Saved Employee’s Life

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Proper Lockout and Training Could Have Saved Employee’s Life

A 60-year-old employee was pulled into a rotating shaft of a coal elevator and killed at his workplace in Tonawanda, NY, in January 2016. He was preparing to grease the elevator when his jacket was caught. The elevator was neither shut down nor locked out.

OSHA’s inspection determined that Tonawanda Coke Corp. failed to do the following:

  • Ensure the shutdown of power sources for the coal elevator and a machine in the plant battery department and that energy isolation devices had lockout devices affixed.
  • Guard projecting shafts and bolts on the coal elevator against employee contact.
  • Provide hazardous energy control training to authorized employees and inform them of the location of energy control devices. (This was a repeat violation.)
  • Conduct and certify an inspection of energy-control procedures. (Another repeat violation.)
  • Ensure the full lock out of an energy control device.
  • Maintain working surfaces in a clean and dry condition.
  • Ensure to bolt covers of electrical disconnects used in a classified location fully.

The proposed fines add up to $175,200.

Tonawanda Coke Corp., a foundry coke company, has been in business since 1978.


Hugh Hoagland

does research and testing of PPE exposed to electrical arcs and is an arc flash expert. Hugh is a Sr. Consultant at ArcWear and Sr. Partner at e-Hazard. Read more about Hugh.

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