Spot the Safety Violation: Is This What You’d Call a Proper Lockout?

Here’s what Brian’s co-worker Chuck thinks when he finds this lock. “Hmmm. The lock is open. I guess that means Brian must be done clearing out the compactor, so I’ll just go ahead and turn it back on…”

Meanwhile, rotate the scene 180⁰ and we can see that Chuck is very much mistaken and that Brian is still very much into his work—literally so. And what happens next after Chuck turns the power back on with Brian inside . . . well, let’s just say it’s pretty ugly.


Please urge your own workers not to make the same mistake that Brian did, namely, leaving your personal lock compromised. Brian probably figured “this will probably only take a few seconds” and that he could just dash into the compactor to fix the problem. But those “few seconds” were enough for Chuck to enter the scene and restore power to the compactor.

The Moral: Impress on your workers the need to lock and tag their lock and keep the key with them at all times—and that lowering their guard for even a moment can be enough to lose a limb or their life.