Accidents in the workplace happen more often than you think. Every year thousands of workers were killed or injured while performing repair or maintenance works on industrial equipment or machinery. Many of these accidents are caused by the uncontrolled release of energy. Such sources of hazardous energy may be electrical, mechanical, hydraulics, pneumatics, compressed air, steam or gas. To prevent workplace accidents, there must be a set of processes to protect the people and machineries from such accidental release of hazardous energy, which can be categorized as “lockout” and “tagout”.
- 1 What is Lockout Tagout (LOTO)
- 2 Benefits of using Lockout Tagout (LOTO)
- 3 Lockout / Tagout Compliance
- 4 How to select the appropriate locks and tags
- 5 Brady Lockout / Tagout (LOTO) Categories
What is Lockout Tagout (LOTO)
Lockout is the process of locking away hazardous energy, while tagout involves placing danger signs and information on control points of hazardous energy. In another word, Lockout Tagout (LOTO) is a planned safety procedure which involves turning off the energy supply of industrial machinery and equipment whilst maintenance work or repairs are being carried out. This procedure protects workers from the risks posed by live machinery or electricity.
Benefits of using Lockout Tagout (LOTO)
Workplace accidents not only cause harm physically and mentally to employees but also financial harm to employers. An effective lockout/tagout procedures save lives, time and money by reducing workplace accidents, limiting downtime, and increasing the efficiency of inspection and maintenance procedures.
Lockout / Tagout Compliance
OSHA’s Lockout Tagout (29 CFR 1910.147) regulatory standard requires that “The employer shall establish a(n) (energy control) program consisting of energy control procedures, employee training and periodic inspections to ensure that before any employee performs any servicing or maintenance on a machine or equipment where the unexpected energizing, startup or release of stored energy could occur and cause injury, the machine or equipment shall be isolated from the energy source and rendered inoperative.”
A typical lockout program can contain over 80 separate elements! This includes tasks such as creating, maintaining and updating equipment lists and hierarchies, task-specific procedures and workplace regulations and training.
6 Elements to an OHSA Compliant Lockout Tagout Program
- Develop and Document a Lockout Tagout Program or Policy
- Write Machine/Task Specific Lockout Tagout Procedures
- Identify and Mark Energy Isolation Points
- Lockout Tagout Training and Periodic Inspection / Audits
- Provide Proper Lockout Tagout Devices
Employers are required to provide materials and hardware to uniquely identify each lock and tag for lockout/tags-plus applications. Here are some guidelines in selecting the appropriate locks and tags with the right attributes in implementing procedures:
1. Durable: Locks and tags must be able to withstand their environmental conditions. Tags must not deteriorate or become illegible in wet, damp or corrosive environments.
2. Standardized: Color, shape or size should make locks and tags readily recognized and associated with lockout. They must also have standardized print and format.
3. Substantial: Locks must be sturdy enough to prevent removal without use of excessive force or cutting tools. Tag attachment must be sturdy enough to prevent inadvertent or accidental removal.
4. Identifiable: Each lock and tag must clearly identify the authorized employee who applied it, as well as warn of hazardous conditions that could arise if the machine or equipment is energized.
Brady Lockout / Tagout (LOTO) Categories
Electrical Equipment Lockouts
Brady electrical lockout products will help you properly shut down electrical systems including circuit breakers, push-buttons, rotary, wall switches, plugs and much more. These lockout options will help you avoid electrical accidents for industrial high voltage or low voltage applications.
Brady cable lockout equipment is an easy-to-use multi-purpose energy isolation solution that is ideal for unusual devices that are difficult to lock using conventional means. The devices and tools are available easily with a cinch cable in place to keep handles and/or valves locked in the OFF position, effectively isolating valves or electrical power handles. Lockout cables are available individually or in lockout tagout kits.
Valve Lockouts and Hose Lockouts
Lockout hasps are a valuable and convenient way to lockout an energy source ensuring that your worker’s safety is never compromised. Our hasps are available in a variety of highly visible, labelled and non-conductive options. They are ideal for group lockout procedures and will help give your team the peace of mind that each energy source is properly isolated.
Padlocks and Padlock Labels
Lockout, tagout and padlock labels allow you to quickly identify equipment, areas and padlocks with important lockout/Tagout (LOTO) information. These are self-adhering high-performance labels that can withstand harsh environments. Lockout Tagout and padlock labels improve worker awareness, preventing unauthorized access and unexpected machine start ups.
Group Lockout Boxes
Group lockout boxes are a great solution for isolating energy points when a large team is working. Using a group lockout box allows you to dramatically reduce the amount of locks required on a job, limit weight on each energy point by eliminating hasps, and it provides a quick overview of who is still working without going to each energy point.