Lockout statistics

by Apr 28, 2017Lockout

Industrial machinery are often associated with a multitude of risks and hazards (ISO 12100, 2010; CSA Z432, 2014; ANSI B11-TR3, 2000; Bluff, 2014). When workers intervene on a machine, during all its life cycle stages , they are exposed to many kinds of hazardous situations.

In the USA, 5579 machine-related fatalities were reported between 2003 and 2010 (Marsh et al ,2015), The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revealed 717 fatalities related to contact with objects or equipment in 2014.

In England, statistics from the HSE showed that 50% of occupational accidents were related to moving parts of machinery in 2013.

Bulzacchelli et al (2008) found that 18% of occupational fatalities were related to contact with objects or equipment in 2005.

Bellamy et al (2007) found that 400 accidents each year are caused by contact with moving parts of machinery.

One paper published by Gardner et al (1999) showed that 28% of occupational injuries in Australia are related to machines.

Gerberich et al (1998) stated that agricultural machines were identified as the main cause of injuries in rural areas.

Chinniah (2015) analysed 106 accident reports related to moving parts of machinery in Quebec, Canada. The study shows that several accident occurred during maintenance interventions or regular operation tasks when the work requires access to the danger zone of the machine. Mechanical hazards were the most observed. It was found that 12.3% of accidents were linked to the set up phase, 19.8% of accidents to production tasks, 34.9% of accidents to maintenance tasks and 31.1% to handling production disturbances

Main causes of machine related accident are

  • easy access to the danger zone of machine
  • lack of protection
  • inexperienced workers
  • bypassing safeguards
  • lack of risk analysis and supervision
  • machine design and unsafe work procedures
  • lack of lockout procedures.

(Backstrom and Doos, 2000; Bulzacchelli et al., 2008; Shaw, 2010; Blaise, 2010; Charpentier, 2005).

In the USA 3 million workers perform maintenance tasks that could expose them to serious injuries if a lockout procedure were not adequately applied (US Department of Labor, 2005).

OSHA reported 4149 violation of the 1910.147 regulation related to lockout procedure in 2000 (OSHA 2004), one third of violations concerned the absence of lockout program and/or lockout procedure in the establishment (Mutawe, 2002)

In 2005, lockout was the 5th most cited cause of incidents in OSHA reports; in 90% of cases, due to the absence of a lockout procedure.

Incidents where lockout procedure was applied are very rare (5.2% human faults and 1.2% mechanical faults), which goes to prove the efficiency of lockout to prevent accidents.

According to Nadeau et al (2006), 10% of the most serious accidents were related to lack of lockout procedure. Shaw (2010) analysed 100 accidents reports in England between 2002 and 2007. He found that the absence of lockout procedure is one of the major causes of accidents.

Based on EPICEA database (France), Blaise and Welitz (2010) found that 88 accidents occurred between 1998 and 2007 which were related to maintenance tasks. They also observed that even machine operators were involved.

A study conducted by Lind (2008) concerning 33 fatal and serious accidents in Finland showed that organisational aspect was involved in 69% of the cases (mainly the non-observance of procedures such as lockout procedure).

Chinniah (2015) found that 66 out of 106 accidents related to moving parts of machinery occurred in companies with no lockout procedure or procedures not applied as mandated by the RROHS in Quebec.

According to the same study, in 21 accidents, the lockout procedure was elaborated but not applied, in 2 accidents, there was a lockout program without a lockout procedure on the machine involved in the accident, and, finally, for 2 of the accidents, the lockout procedure was incomplete or incorrect.

In 2015 and 2016 Parker et al (2015a, 2015b, 2016) published three studies concerning safety programs in steel industry (221 plants). In the first study, they found that the lockout procedure was exposed on machine in only 9% of cases.

The second study focused on the managerial side of safety. Authors observed that the larger the companies, the more lockout procedure tend to be applied.

The third study showed that the lockout application was improved by the intervention of hazardous energy control consultants.

The mean lockout procedure score was improved from 8% to 33%, the mean program score went from 55% to 76% and the presence of lockable disconnect switches went from 88% to 92%.

Tell us about your needs and an expert will answer you!

Intervention Prévention Inc.

Intervention Prévention concentrates its operations in the field of work safety, offering specialized services following Standards CSA Z462 – Workplace Electrical Safety, CSA Z460 – Control of Hazardous Energy: Lock-out and Other Methods, and CSA Z432 – Safeguarding of Machinery.


137-2020 rue André-Labadie
Beloeil (Québec)
J3G 0W6