What does the term Lockout/ Tagout refer to?
“Lockout/tagout” or LOTO is a term used to describe specific practices and procedures to safeguard employees from the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities. Employees can be injured very seriously or even killed if a machine they are operating unexpectedly energizes and releases stored energy or starts up. This hazardous energy can come from sources such as electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, mechanical, chemical, thermal or other energy sources used to power machines.
What are OSHA standards for Lockout / Tagout?
OSHA addresses the Control of Hazardous Energy otherwise referred to as Lockout/Tagout in 1910.147. In standard 1910.147 OSHA explains the steps each employer must take to prevent hazardous energy accidents. OSHA has established requirements that employers must follow. Some of the most critical requirements from the OSHA standards are:
- Develop, implement, and enforce an energy control program.
- Use lockout devices for equipment that can be locked out. Tagout devices may be used in lieu of lockout devices only if the tagout program provides employee protection equivalent to that provided through a lockout program.
- Ensure that new or overhauled equipment can be locked out.
- Develop, implement, and enforce an effective tagout program if machines or equipment are not capable of being locked out.
- Develop, document, implement, and enforce energy control procedures.
- Use only LOTO devices authorized for the particular equipment or machinery and ensure that they are durable, standardized, and substantial.
- Ensure that lockout/tagout devices identify the individual users.
- Establish a policy that permits only the employee who applied a LOTO device to remove it.
- Inspect energy control procedures at least annually.
- Provide effective training as mandated for all employees covered by the standard.
- Comply with the additional energy control provisions in OSHA standards when machines or equipment must be tested or repositioned, when outside contractors work at the site, in group lockout situations, and during shift or personnel changes.
What are the six steps of Lockout/Tagout (LOTO)?
The LOTO procedure is as follows:
- Preparation – This involves employees investigating and gaining understanding of what types of hazardous energy they may have to deal when with operating a specific machine. This also helps them identify what means they could use to control this hazardous energy.
- Shutdown – This refers to the actual process of shutting down and locking out the machine being used.
- Isolation – This step can mean different things but is about isolating the machine or equipment from the energy source. It can mean turning off the power at a breaker or shutting a valve.
- Lockout/tagout – Once the energy is isolated from the machine that is when the LOTO process can begin.
- Stored energy check – Once the LOTO process has been completed its important to check for any energy still stored in the machine.
- Isolation verification – This last step is a precautionary measure to ensure that the machine is shut down, isolated from its power source, locked out and double checked for residual energy.
How can TET handle your LOTO training needs?
At Total Equipment Training we offer Lockout/Tagout training for you employees. Our trainers come with over 10 years of in the field experience and are ready to help ensure your employees are up to date with the most recent OSHA LOTO procedures to ensure their safety on the job. If you would like to learn more about our Lockout/Tagout Training visit us at our LOTO Training Page. We currently offer a 60 minute online Lockout/Tagout Training for individuals. This training provides information to help recognize potential hazards, knowledge of safe operations and discuss the best way to keep yourself and others safe.