Lockout and Tagout for SafetyAdmin@ | April 12, 2019 | 0 | Business
When working with any large or hazardous equipment, safety has to come first, last and always. Moving parts, electricity and hot or cold surfaces are just some of the common dangers. The last thing you want is for a piece of equipment that everyone assumed was off to turn on again. Turning equipment off at the source, locking out that source, and tagging it for safety might seem like a matter of common sense, but lockout/tagout violations were the #5 most-cited safety violation for 2018.
Know your Regulations
If you’re based in the US, check the the OSHA Lockout/Tagout Fact Sheet as well as looking up local regulations for more guidelines and information. Make sure to do this before you develop your lockout/tagout plans and procedures. You don’t want to be part of the problem, after all.
You may need to acquire specialized equipment. Multiple padlocks can be used with a folding lockout hasp in order to ensure that several people check before turning something on or off. Sometimes a simple safety tag will do, but you might need something cable-based for valve lockout and you might need a specialized tool like a hand swager to use it correctly.
Systems and Procedures
Your procedure might include steps like: announcing the shutoff, cutting power to the machine, securing that power source, tagging it as secure, and finally testing it to be absolutely certain. Whatever system you develop, it should be as foolproof as possible, and so commonplace that it becomes second nature.
Make a Habit of Safety
You don’t just need to have an energy control program, you need to have that program implemented and enforced in a way that guarantees the safety of your equipment and your employees. Lockout/tagout isn’t an inconvenient regulation or a set of fiddly equipment; it saves electricity, time, and lives.