Sure, it will take more time for a worker to completely lock out a machine before clearing a jam. But those extra moments could make the difference between life and death, as this story shows.
A worker was killed after he attempted to clear tobacco clogging a mechanical harvester.
Buenvaventura Cortez Martinez, a migrant worker from El Salvador, died in the machine near Tabor City, NC.
Martinez was operating the harvester on the farm of Patrick and Mark Lovett. The worker stopped the harvester but didn’t shut down its engine when it became clogged with tobacco.
A sheriff’s report says Martinez’s hand got caught when he reached into the machine and he was pulled into the harvester.
The NC Department of Labor is investigating.
Preliminary findings indicate Martinez’s clothing got caught in the machine.
You can find OSHA’s rules on lockout/tagout on its website.