Lockout Tagout - A Brief Overview for Business Owners
A safety procedure used in Business or Industries
Without the implementation of lockout tagout, maintenance work shouldn't start as stipulated by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an agency of the US Department of Labor; they also provide the specific guidelines for lockout Tagout.
The primary goal of a Lockout Tagout policy is to protect employees from an accidental release of harmful electric energy or hazardous energy from equipment or machinery when they are being serviced or repaired.
This is a part of lockout tagout kits; An energy isolation device could be any of the following:
1. Slide gate
2. Circuit breaker
3. Disconnect switch
4. Line valve
The lockout device uses a positive method such as a lock, in form of a combination type or a key, to hold or grip an energy-isolating machine in a safe position and avoid the energization of a machine or a piece of equipment. This lockout device must be sufficiently significant to prevent its removal without the use of excessive force or unusual techniques. The lockout device should be used unless the employer can show that a tagout system will provide full employee protection. There must be an orderly method for the transfer of lockout protection between oncoming and off-going employees.
This is the use of tagout devices such as a tag or other notably prominent warning sign device, with a means or way of attaching it on an energy isolation device. The purpose is to show that the controlled equipment may, or should not be used until the tagout device is taken out or removed. The tagout device must be:
2. Attached with hands
Must be at least equal to an environmentally friendly nylon cable tie
Non-releasing with a min. strength of not less than 50 pounds to unlocking
Removal of Lockout/Tagout Devices
Before these devices can be removed, the authorized employee must ensure that all non-essential items are removed, and machine components are intact. In addition:
The area should be checked to be sure employees are out of there or are in safe positions.
The device must be removed by the person who applied it.
When an employee is authorized to remove the device, all workforces must be notified to ensure the continuity of protection.
All employees that will be affected must receive notification that lockout/tagout devices are being removed.
When group lockout/tagout devices are used, the same procedure should be followed to protect all involved employees. This could become necessary when a crew or group is performing maintenance or service.
When the person who applied it is not on seat, a different employee can remove the device on the condition that this employer has established specific procedure and training for this.
OSHA 29 CFR 1910.147 also covers a written program that:
1. Lists specific steps in procedures for each piece of equipment to isolate, block, and secure it.
2. Describe the procedure and its purpose.
3. Outline requirements for testing the effectiveness of these energy control devices.
4. Describe procedures for the placement and removal and transfer of lockout devices as well as designating responsibility.
Training of Employees
A training program must be developed, one which instructs employees in energy control methods, including the purpose and limitations of tagouts.
This training must be completed:
When there is a major machine modification.
Whenever there is a change in job assignments or energy control procedures.
Whenever there is a job change assignment, retrained of Employees must be observed.
When new machines are installed, or there is any change in energy control procedures.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) feels that this act helps protect workers from the dangers of uncontrolled hazardous energy and should be observed .