SAFETY SOLUTIONS: Lockout, Tagout & Tryout – Are You in Compliance?
Podojil & Associates is highly experienced in the
Control of Hazardous Energy Fields. Each time we
are contacted by a potential client to conduct an
audit, which is usually after and accident has occurred or
OSHA has cited them, we ask the following questions:
1. Have you conducted your initial and annual Lockout &
Tagout training for Authorized Employees and also
training for Affected Employees? This answer is usually
“I Don’t Know?”
2. We then ask them if they have conducted their periodic
audit (which is an OSHA requirement) with each
Authorized Employee who will be locking out and tagging
out the sources of energy and we still get a “I
3. The third question that we ask is “Have you identified
all of your energy sources on your equipment and did
you label / placard the sources and are the readily
available on the machine? Usually this answer is a
What is hazardous energy?
Energy sources including electrical, mechanical,
hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal or other sources
in machines and equipment can be hazardous to workers.
During the servicing and maintenance of machines and
equipment, the unexpected startup or release of stored
energy could cause injury to employees.
What are the harmful effects of hazardous energy?
Workers servicing or maintaining machines or equipment
may be seriously injured or killed if hazardous energy
is not properly controlled. Injuries resulting from the
failure to control hazardous energy during maintenance
activities can be serious or fatal. Injuries may include electrocution,
burns, crushing, cutting, lacerating, amputating,
or fracturing body parts, and others.
- A steam valve is automatically turned on burning workers
who are repairing a downstream connection in the
- A jammed conveyor system suddenly releases crushing
a worker who is trying to clear the jam.
- Internal wiring on a piece of factory equipment electrically
shorts shocking employee who is repairing the
Craft workers, electricians, machine operators, and
laborers are among the 3 million workers who service
equipment routinely and face the greatest risk of injury.
Workers injured on the job from exposure to hazardous
energy lose an average of 24 workdays for recuperation.
What can be done to control hazardous
Failure to control hazardous energy accounts for nearly
10 percent of the serious accidents in many industries.
Proper lockout/tagout (LOTO) practices and procedures
safeguard workers from the release of hazardous energy.
OSHA’s Lockout/Tagout fact sheet https://www.osha.gov/
describes the practices and procedures necessary to disable
machinery or equipment to prevent the release of
The OSHA standard for “The Control of Hazardous
Energy” (Lockout/Tagout) (29 CFR 1910.147) for general
industry outlines measures for controlling different types
of hazardous energy.
The LOTO standard establishes the employer's responsibility
to protect workers from hazardous energy.
Employers are also required to train each worker to
ensure that they know, understand, and are able to follow
the applicable provisions of the hazardous energy control
- Proper lockout/tagout (LOTO) practices and procedures safeguard workers from the release of hazardous energy.
The OSHA standard for The Control of Hazardous
Energy (Lockout/Tagout) for general industry, outlines
specific action and procedures for addressing and controlling
hazardous energy during servicing and maintenance
of machines and equipment. Employers are also
required to train each worker to ensure that they know,
understand, and are able to follow the applicable provisions
of the hazardous energy control procedures.
- Workers must be trained in the purpose and function of
the energy control program and have the knowledge
and skills required for the safe application, usage and
removal of the energy control devices.
- All employees who work in the area where the energy
control procedure(s) are utilized need to be instructed
in the purpose and use of the energy control procedure(s) and about the prohibition against attempting to
restart or reenergize machines or equipment that is
locked or tagged out.
- All employees who are authorized to lockout machines
or equipment and perform the service and maintenance
operations need to be trained in recognition of applicable
hazardous energy sources in the workplace, the type
and magnitude of energy found in the workplace, and
the means and methods of isolating and/or controlling
- Specific procedures and limitations relating to tagout
systems where they are allowed.
- Retraining of all employees to maintain proficiency or
introduce new or changed control methods.
For more information on this subject, please feel free to
contact me at the magazine or visit our website at
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