Lockout Tagout (LOTO) Accident Lawyers in Houston

Lockout Tagout (LOTO) Accident Lawyers in Houston

    In workplaces filled with heavy machinery and hazardous materials, accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. Among the many types of industrial mishaps, a lockout tagout (LOTO) accident can lead to dire consequences and long-lasting injuries for all parties involved. In such cases, it’s crucial to understand your rights and seek the right legal guidance from experienced lawyers in Houston handling LOTO accidents.

    In this blog post, we will be discussing what lockout tagout incidents entail, the range of possible injuries one can sustain, and who might be liable in these cases. We’ll also cover the compensation that can be recovered and why it’s essential to hire a lawyer with experiance in dealing with these types of industrial accidents. So, fasten your seatbelts, let’s get started.

    What Is a Lockout Tagout Accident

    Lockout tagout refers to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements for preventing the release of hazardous energy while employees and workers are performing maintenance and servicing on machines and equipment in the work area.

    “Lockout” means that the machine is locked in an off position while it is being maintained. Ideally, only the employee who is exposed to a hazardous release should have the ability to restart or unlock the equipment he is servicing.

    “Tagout” is the procedure used when a machine is incapable of being locked out, or it is impractical. You place identifying warning tags that other employees recognize as a warning not to flip the wrong switch or valve and allow hazardous energy flow from the source.

    By understanding these fundamental definitions, you can identify the most common lockout tagout mistakes that lead to accidents and injuries, which will help you learn what steps to take should such an incident occur.

    The Most Common Lockout Tagout Mistakes

    Lockout tagout procedures are crucial for ensuring the safety of the workforce, however, there are several common mistakes made during this process which can lead to accidents and cause a worker to be injured:

    Failure to Establish and Implement a Written Lockout Tagout Program

    A written lockout tagout program is essential for ensuring that employees understand the importance of safety procedures and follow them. Without a well-documented program in place, workers may not be aware of the critical steps they need to take to protect themselves and others.

    Not Using LOTO Procedures Because It’s a Quick Job

    Skipping safety measures like LOTO procedures even for a “quick job” puts workers in grave danger. Accidents often happen in an instant, and it is crucial that workers always follow the proper safety procedures.

    Not Providing Appropriate Training

    Employees must receive proper training to understand LOTO procedures and how to apply them accurately for each machine they work on.

    Wrong Use of Tags

    Energy control tags are sometimes used as information tags or process control tags. The only use for your “Danger Do Not Operate” energy control tag is for servicing and maintaining equipment. Any other use degrades the importance of the tag, making it more likely that accidents will occur.

    Duplicate Keys

    Duplicate keys can pose a serious risk in lockout tagout situations because they potentially enable unauthorized individuals to restart machinery or equipment that has been locked out or tagged out for maintenance, repair, inspection, or other safety related reasons. All procedures need to be followed correctly to ensure safety of workers.

    Avoiding common lockout tagout mistakes is crucial in ensuring the safety of workers and preventing catastrophic accidents. However, despite best efforts to adhere to safety protocols, accidents and serious injuries can still occur.

    Common Catastrophic Injuries Caused by Lockout Tagout Accidents in Houston

    Lockout tagout accidents can lead to serious and permanent injuries. Here are some common injuries sustained in such accidents:

    1. Amputations: Failure to properly lockout tagout protocols for machinery or equipment can result in accidental activation of energy sources while workers are servicing or cleaning it. This puts workers at risk of losing their fingers, hands, or limbs.
    2. Crushing injuries: When machinery resumes operation without warning, body parts may be crushed between moving parts or even between the machine and nearby surfaces.
    3. Electrocutions: An inadequate lockout tagout process may expose workers to live electrical and power circuits, resulting in electrocution or severe burns.
    4. Falls: In some cases, a lockout tagout failure can cause workers to be thrown or fall from heights, leading to severe injuries or fatalities.

    It’s essential to recognize these injuries and seek legal advice as soon as possible. Finding the right lawyer can help you receive compensation for your suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and more. However, before taking any legal action, you need to identify who is responsible for these accidents.

    Who Is Liable for Lockout Tagout Accidents in Houston

    Liability in LOTO accidents can be complex. Multiple parties may share responsibility, including:

    1. Employers: Employers have the primary responsibility to create and enforce lockout tagout procedures and to provide employees with adequate training and equipment.
    2. Manufacturers: Defective machinery or components can contribute to lockout tagout accidents. Manufacturers can be held accountable if their products cause injury.
    3. Service and maintenance companies: Companies responsible for equipment inspection, maintenance, or repair may be liable if they fail to address issues that lead to accidents.
    4. General contractors or property owners: In some cases, contractors overseeing a worksite or an owner of a property may be partly at fault for injuries sustained there, particularly if they contributed to an unsafe environment that played a role in the accident.

    Since determining liability in these cases can be difficult, it’s crucial to have skilled LOTO accident lawyers in Houston by your side, fighting for the compensation you deserve. By understanding potential injuries and liable parties, you can be better informed about what steps to take next.

    What to Do After a Lockout Tagout Accident

    If you or a loved one is involved in a LOTO accident, follow these essential steps:

    1. Seek immediate medical attention. Your health and well-being should be your first priority. Prompt treatment is necessary not only to treat potential injuries but also to create a strong foundation for your personal injury claim.
    2. Report the incident to your employer. Notify your employer as soon as possible to ensure the accident is recorded properly and promptly. This not only aids in any potential investigation but also helps to solidify your claim.
    3. Document everything. Keep records of all medical treatments, expenses, and any communication with your employer. This evidence will be crucial when it comes to pursuing compensation.
    4. Contact a LOTO accident lawyer in Houston. A skilled attorney will be able to walk you through the process and develop a strong case for maximum compensation.

    Now that you know what steps to take following a LOTO accident, it’s important to understand the types of compensation you may be able to recover.

    Compensation You Can Recover for a Lockout Tagout Accident

    In the aftermath of a lockout tagout accident, injured workers may be entitled to various types of compensation that can help address the physical, emotional, and financial burdens resulting from their injuries. The specific range of possible compensation depends on factors such as the severity of the injury, long-term effects on one’s life and ability to work, and other factors. The three main types of compensation that may be available to you after a LOTO accident include the following:

    Economic Damages

    These damages cover your direct financial losses, such as:

    • Medical expenses
    • Lost wages and future income potential
    • Cost of rehabilitation and ongoing care

    Non-economic Damages

    Non-economic damages are meant to compensate you for the intangible aspects of your injury, such as:

    Punitive Damages

    In some cases, the courts may award punitive damages to punish the defendant and deter future negligent behavior. These damages are awarded only if the defendant’s conduct is deemed to be particularly egregious.

    It is important to note that worker’s compensation claims may be available in some LOTO accidents. However, keep in mind that employers in Texas are not required to carry worker’s compensation insurance. If the coverage is available, the benefits may include medical expenses, income replacement, and vocational training.

    It’s always in your best interest to work with a lawyer so they can help you determine what kind of claim to file.

    Reasons to Hire a Lockout Tagout Accident Lawyer in Houston

    Suffering from an injury caused by a lockout tagout accident can be a life-altering experience. Dealing with medical bills, loss of income, and the physical and emotional pain of recovery is challenging for anyone to face. However, you don’t have to navigate this difficult time on your own. Here’s why you should work with experienced LOTO injury lawyers:

    Knowledge of LOTO Regulations

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has clear regulations regarding lockout tagout procedures to protect workers from accidental machine startup, electrical hazards, or release of hydraulic energy during maintenance. A dedicated LOTO accident lawyer has a deep understanding of these regulations and can evaluate whether your employer violated any rules, contributing to your injury.

    Strong Negotiation Skills

    Insurance companies often try to minimize the compensation they pay to claimants. A skilled LOTO accident lawyer can negotiate on your behalf, ensuring you receive the highest possible settlement for your claim.

    Legal Guidance Throughout the Process While You Focus on Recovery

    A lockout tagout accident claim can be complicated and time-consuming. Hiring a LOTO accident lawyer in Houston allows you to focus on your recovery while they handle all legal aspects of your case, including gathering evidence, dealing with insurance companies, and representing you in court if necessary.

    Why Choose The Callahan Law Firm as Your LOTO Accident Lawyer?

    When dealing with the devastating impacts of a lockout tagout accident, it’s crucial to have a reliable and experienced legal team by your side. The Callahan Law Firm is a Houston-based practice led by board-certified personal injury attorney, Michael Callahan. With over 25 years of experience representing clients in accident cases, The Callahan Law Firm is committed to assisting you in this difficult time.

    We operate on a no-win-no-fee basis, which means that you don’t have to pay anything out of pocket, and only have to pay if your case is successful. This approach demonstrates our commitment to putting your best interests first, as well as our confidence in achieving a favorable outcome for your case. Choosing the right LOTO accident lawyer is a critical decision, and we believe that The Callahan Law Firm offers the complete package.

    Contact Us For a Free Consultation To Determine Next Steps For Your Claim

    If you or a loved one have suffered a serious injury due to a lockout tagout accident, you deserve skilled and dedicated legal representation. The Callahan Law Firm in Houston has the experience, compassion, and commitment necessary to fight for maximum recovery on your behalf. Don’t wait; call The Callahan Law Firm today for a free consultation to discuss your case.