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29 October 2013, news on Sin Chiew Daily – On 28 October 2013, a 23 years old Indonesia worker died in a factory in Demak Laut while he was cleaning a machine.  Another worker suddenly activated the machine.  The moving parts of the machine pinched the victim’s left arm.  He died with a severe injury on his head.

Without knowing the details, we can only imagine what was happening.  Based on the description on the newspaper, at least one of the causes of the accident was “someone else suddenly activated the machine”.  We can therefore imagine that the machine was deactivated (switched off) before the victim started cleaning it.  If “someone else” did not suddenly activate (switch on) the machine there will be no accident.

There could be reasons for “someone else” to switch on the machine and I believe that he (or she) did not know that someone is there cleaning the machine.

May be the machine was normally at ON position and it was unusual for someone to clean the machine without informing others.

The person who initiated the cleaning work on the machine must make sure that the power source was locked out and tagged out. Someone (or he) is responsible for locking out the machine before he started cleaning.   Locking out and tagging out the machine will ensure that “someone else” will never be able to activate the machine without unlocking by the one who imposed the lock out.

LOCKOUT / TAGOUT is a simple safety system and program that can prevent this kind of accident to happen.  Do you have one in your factory?

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