SAFETY SOLUTIONS: Lockout/Tagout Program
The OSHA 1910.147 standard requires
employers establish, train employees, and follow proper lockout & tagout
procedures whenever employees are working on equipment. This standard is cited
within the top ten OSHA penalties.
The purpose of an effective lockout, tagout
& tryout program is to protect the employees from serious or fatal injuries
that could occur during the unexpected release of energy while servicing
machinery or equipment. An effective program shall be used to ensure that the
machine or equipment is stopped, isolated from all potential hazardous energy
sources and locked out before any person performs any servicing or maintenance,
where unexpected energization or startup of the machine or equipment could
occur. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) Standard 29
CFR 1910.147 Control of Hazardous Energy Sources (lockout/tagout) require every
business to have a written program.
Definitions of frequently used terminology:
Lockout – A technique used to prevent the release of
hazardous energy, or to prevent the hazardous energy from escaping. A padlock is
placed on the appropriate energy-isolating device that is in the OFF or closed
Isolating Device – A mechanical device that physically prevents
the transmission or release of energy.
– Safety program adopted by the employer that includes
energy control procedures plus provisions for inspecting the procedures and
training employees for lockout/tagout.
Employee – One who locks out machines or equipment in order to
perform the servicing or maintenance on that machine or equipment.
Employee – One whose job requires him/her to operate or use a
machine or equipment on which servicing or maintenance is being performed under
lockout, or whose job requires him/her to work in an area in which such
servicing or maintenance is being performed.
To conform to OSHA 1910.147 compliance
standards, all employees are required to comply with the restrictions and
limitations imposed upon them during the use of lockout, tagout & tryout.
Authorized and fully trained employees are required to perform the lockout pro
cess. Other employees, upon observing a machine or piece of equipment, which is
locked out to perform servicing or maintenance, shall not attempt to start,
energize, or use that machine or equipment.
Lockout procedures must include; alerting
the operator(s) that power is being disconnected. Preparation for shutdown, then
the equipment must be shut down, lockout devices applied, then there must be an
equipment isolation and verification procedure completed. The following is a
list of some of the types of energy sources that must be locked out.
- Air – Compression
- Gas – Rotating parts
- Stored electrical – Electrical
- Gravity – Thermal
- Hydraulic pressure – Chemical
There are five fatal main causes of
lockout/tagout injuries. (1) Failure to stop equipment; (2) Failure to
disconnect from power source; (3) Failure to dissipate (bleed, neutralize)
residual energy;(4) Accidental restarting of equipment; and (5) Failure to clear
work areas before restarting.
Here are some general awareness tips for an
effective lockout/tagout process:
(a) Never attempt lockout/tagout procedures
unless you have been trained and certified by your employer under an approved
Energy Control Program.
(b) Never loan or share your lock,
combination, or key with anybody else.
(C) Ensure that the energy is completely
dissipated prior to working on the equipment.
(d) Always be sure all lockout/tagout
devices are compatible with the environment in which they will be used, i.e.,
corrosive, humid, etc.
(e) Prior to starting work on the machine
DO NOT FORGET TO TRYOUT the machine or system to ensure that there is no energy
left to hurt you.
When the job has been completed, be sure to
follow proper procedures for the removal of the lockout. Ensure equipment is
safe to operate; all equipment must be in the neutral position. Safeguard all
employees; remove lockout/tagout devices. Except in emergencies, each device
must be removed by the person who put it on.
Accidents caused by faulty lockout/ tagout
procedures or processes can be avoided. Should you wish to read the OSHA
standard, please visit the OSHA web site at www.OSHA.gov. Should you need
further information or technical support please feel free to contact me.
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