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SLC 2017 Speaker Q&A: Avoiding the Legal Pitfalls of Lockout/Tagout

June 22, 2017
This upcoming session at EHS Today’s Safety Leadership Conference discusses some of the challenges confounding employers about lockout/tagout and offers guidance to employers to maintain compliance with OSHA’s lockout/tagout standard.

Collin Warren, a partner with Fisher Phillips, knows that lockout/tagout (LOTO) is one of the most demanding compliance issues for employers. As such, it generates OSHA citations that can be difficult to defend.

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His presentation, part of the Compliance Track at EHS Today’s 2017 Safety Leadership Conference, addresses the challenges surrounding lockout/tagout and offers employers valuable advice about maintaining compliance with the standard. Here is a preview of what Warren plans to discuss during his session, “Lockout/Tagout: Avoiding the Legal Pitfalls,” at the Safety Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Sept. 11-13.

EHS Today: Can you offer a description of your presentation and how it relates to safety leadership?  

Collin Warren (CW): LOTO can be difficult for the most seasoned safety professionals.  During this interactive presentation safety leadership discuss the current trends in LOTO citations, typical problem areas for employers, exceptions to the standard (and why the exceptions are frequently not met) and machine specific issues.

EHS Today: Why is the topic of your presentation of interest to you and why is it important to SLC attendees?  

CW: As a lawyer, LOTO is one of the most difficult issues for employers to be in 100 percent compliance and the issue generates many citations that can be nebulous to defend. This topic will shed light on many current issues and assist safety professionals in working toward compliance and defending potential OSHA citations.

EHS Today: Please share an example of a personal or professional experience you’ve had related to safety leadership or the topic of your presentation.  

CW: In the past 30 days, I have addressed and argued LOTO citations with OSHA on this very issue. While safety leadership believed they were in compliance, by virtue of a third-party consultant writing their LOTO program, we were faced with multiple citations. We were able to get two-thirds of the citations eliminated.

EHS Today: What are the takeaways you hope to leave with attendees?  

CW: Knowledge of current trends, and identifying and correcting issues where many may think they are in compliance, but in reality, may not be.

EHS Today: What do you think are some of the most pressing EHS and risk management issues facing corporate leaders and safety professionals in 2017 and beyond?  

CW: Adjusting to an ever-changing agency (OSHA) at a national level and dealing with enforcement agendas on a local level.

EHS Today: How will this session help attendees be a better resource for their employees and company?  

CW: The ability to put knowledge into action on a very timely issue.

(EHS Today's 2017 Safety Leadership Conference and America’s Safest Companies Award Program will take place Sept. 11-13 in Atlanta, GA at the Hilton Atlanta. This event is designed to share best leadership, risk management, compliance and safety practices with EHS professionals hoping to achieve world-class safety at their companies. The conference features 28 sessions across four performance tracks; Safety & Risk Management, Compliance, Construction Safety and Safety Technology.)

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