Lockout Tagout

What is Lockout / Tagout?

Lockout / Tagout is a hazardous energy control that utilizes locks and tags to secure and identify energy sources and prevent the release of unintended hazardous energy. Hazardous energy not only comes in the form of electricity, but also other forms such as high pressure gas, water, steam, hydraulic fluid, petroleum products and even mechanical energy.

What hazards are associated with failure to utilize lockout tagout?

Incidents which are derived from weaknesses in the energy control program are usually attributed to failures to use correct lockout tagout procedures or failures in the actual lockout tagout procedures themselves. Here are some common instances where failure to use correct procedures or deficient procedures led to death or serious injury:

1. Failure to utilize lockout / tagout procedures entirely during the maintenance of machinery or equipment
2. Failure to “correctly” utilize lockout / tagout procedures during the maintenance of machinery or equipment
3. Flaws in the actual lockout / tagout procedures which exposed employees to hazardous energy
4. Defective or unreadable tags which led to confusion about the status of hazardous energy
5. Proximity to danger points is too close while re-energizing
6. Tools or other items left on, in or near machines or equipment while re-energizing

What lockout tagout practices can you use to avoid contact with hazardous energy?

1. Never engage in lockout / tagout procedures unless you have been trained to do so and you feel confident in performing lockout / tagout procedures
2. Never attempt to use machinery or equipment which has a lock or tag in place
3. Never attempt to use machinery or equipment if you know maintenance on that machinery or equipment is underway
4. Never remove someone else’s assigned lock or vice versa
5. Ensure that writing on tags is legible and has the correct contact information on it
6. Never perform maintenance on machinery or equipment if you are under the age of 18
7. Ensure that only 1 key exists for each lock assigned to you
8. Always verify by test and / or observation that all energy sources are de-energized
9. Always block or dissipate stored energy to reduce risk of hazardous release
10. Ensure tools or other items are not left on, in or near the machine or equipment prior to re-energizing
11. Ensure you and other personnel are clear of all danger points before re-energizing systems

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