Lockout and Tagout programs are for the protection of employees whose job requires them to clean, repair, service, set-up and adjust machines and equipment in which the release of stored energy could cause injury. Uncontrolled energy, such as electricity and gas or liquid pressure, can cause the sudden and unexpected movement of a machine or any part of a machine, which can potentially kill or injure you.
Lockout is the use of devices, positive methods and procedures, which will result in the effective isolation or securing of prime movers, machinery and equipment from mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, electrical, thermal or other hazardous energy sources. Tagout on the other hand means to place a tag out device on the machine or equipment to show that it is prohibited to restart or operate the machine or equipment.
The elements to developing an OSHA compliant Lockout/ Tagout program include:
- Written Procedures – A hazardous energy control procedure shall be developed that clearly and specifically outlines the scope, purpose, authorization, rules, and techniques to control hazardous energy, and the means to enforce compliance among employees. The employer’s hazardous energy control procedure shall include separate procedural steps for the safe lockout/ tagout of each machine or piece of equipment affected by the hazardous energy control procedure.
- Training – Each piece of equipment that is identified
- Coordinating the use of Lockout devices – Each participating employee must have their own locks and hasps without duplicated keys to ensure that no equipment can be turned on while being services or worked on.
For each machine, piece of equipment or prime mover procedures must include the following:
- Knowing all hazardous energy sources for each machine you have been assigned to work on or around including main and secondary power supplies and potential stored energy, such as capacitors, springs, elevated machine members, rotating flywheels, hydraulic systems, and air, gas, steam or water pressure.
- Controlling all hazardous energy sources by performing all the necessary actions to de-energize machinery, which may include shutting down equipment, closing valves, disconnecting switches, and relieving or restraining potential energy.
- Applying personal locks and tags
- Testing and checking that the hazardous energy has been controlled
- Safely restoring equipment, machinery, and prime movers back to service
ARC Enterprises assists employers with all aspects of the Lockout/ Tagout program, and work with your staff to ensure the company’s safety policies and objectives are realized.