008: OSHA OOPS – Costly Commercial Sewing Machine Mistake

Join safety expert Michael Crawley as he discusses how failure to properly guard the belt drives on their sewing machines cost one company heavily and steps you can take to avoid similar OSHA citations.


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The $5k Citation

In today’s episode, we’re covering a company that made a very common Lockout Tagout Procedural mistake.

In this companies case, they failed to have separate written procedures for the safe lockout/tagout procedures for an individual machine.

While it may seem easier to have one written procedure for multiple machines because they have the same steps, it is essential that your company separates those. 



Lockout/Tagout procedures

It is inevitable that machines and electrical equipment will need maintenance and repairs. When maintenance and repairs need to be done, employees should use lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedures. Lockout/tagout is the process of stopping energy at its primary and secondary sources and ensuring that the energy cannot be restored until all lockout/tagout devices have been removed. With the proper procedures, fines such as this one can be avoided.

Simple Lockout/Tagout Procedure:
(Note: the procedures listed are general procedures. Employees should always follow their company specific procedures when performing a lockout/tagout.)

  • Notify affected employees
  • Identify energy sources (primary and secondary)
  • Turn off or make the machine safe
  • Apply LOTO devices
  • Test to verify all power has been stopped
  • Relieve stored energy in machine
  • Once maintenance or repairs are done, remove all nonessential items
  • Ensure all employees are at a safe distance away
  • Remove personal locks from locked and tagged devices 
  • Inform affected employees


With GotSafety on your side, you can avoid citations such as this one. Give us a call at 800-734-3574 and we can give you a demo of our services and how we can help!