September 2019 Safety Bulletin

There was an incident yesterday at an ethanol plant in Bluffton Indiana. A worker performing maintenance work on an auger died. He was 42 years old. The details of the incident have not been released yet as this is still being investigated.

My heart goes out to the family and friends and co-workers who are dealing with the loss of someone close to them. An incident like this affects more than just the family of the worker who died. Think about the rest of the crew on site and what they must be feeling. I find myself thinking about the person that had to call his wife or family member and tell them that their loved one isn’t coming home tonight. That’s a call I don’t ever want to make.

While we don’t have all of the details of the incident there are a few things that we can focus on that will prevent similar incidents from happening.

LOTOTO – Lockout – Tagout – Tryout

We all understand Lockout Tagout and use it every day. How often do you TRYOUT? Some people refer to this as a bump test. The reason for Tryout is to make sure the equipment or machine will not injure or kill someone. This step verifies that the energy control points have been isolated and that the equipment is safe to work on.

I have attached a review of the LOTOTO steps to this email and ask that each of you take some time this morning to review LOTOTO with everyone on your crew. The choices that you make are the difference between life and death. The difference between going home and having someone tell your loved one that you won’t be coming home tonight.

BLUFFTON, Ind. (AP) — Police say an Ohio man has died in an accident at a northeastern Indiana ethanol plant.

Police say the man died Wednesday morning after becoming trapped in a piece of equipment at the Valero Renewable Fuels plant in Bluffton, about 25 miles south of Fort Wayne. He was apparently performing maintenance work on a large auger when he got stuck.

What is LOTOTO?