Tags by the roll

7 Steps to Creating an Effective Lockout/Tagout Program

Just shutting down or disconnecting equipment is not enough… Lockout/Tagout keeps employees safe by making it inoperable.  Comply with OSHA Regulations and LOCK IT OUT!

Before repairs, servicing, maintenance, or set-up of machines and equipment can begin, prevent the unexpected – the accidental start-up!

Procedures, devices and personnel must be set in place to prevent the serious injury or death that could occur when someone thinks something is safely off.  To ensure machines and equipment remain inoperable means establishing a “program consisting of energy control procedures, employee training, and periodic inspections…” as described in the OSHA standard.  The standard also identifies products used for achieving these goals, such as lockout and tagout devices.

Here are 7 steps to creating an effective lockout/tagout program:

  1. Be Aware of the Lockout Regulations
    Become familiar with the federal regulations known as The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout).
  2. Develop List of Machinery and Equipment
    Survey your facility for all machinery and equipment that have the potential for requiring lockout.
  3. Identify & Mark Energy Sources and Lockout Points
    Locate and document start-up areas of energy sources such as: mechanical, thermal, stored energy, electrical, pressure, hydraulic and process control.  Post signs and apply labels and tags to warn and identify.
  4. Determine the Lockout Controls
    Identify and document the necessary devices that isolate and lockout energy sources, and secure them for on-site use.  Standardize the devices for various functions for proper identification.
  5. Set-Up Lockout Training & Procedure Program
    Develop, standardize and document the lockout process for each energy source.  Identify employees’ level of involvement in the program – those that are made aware, affected and to perform the lockout procedures.  Accomplish this through comprehensive training programs and certifications.
  6. Implement the Lockout Program
    Initiate and enact the lockout/tagout program in accordance with the training procedures.  Post reminders and have the necessary lockout/tagout devices readily available.
  7. Review Lockout Program
    Identify and document changes to existing procedures and new energy sources that require lockout.  Make corrections, changes and additions to the program.  Conduct periodic review of lockout procedures (required at least annually) to ensure they are up-to-date and requirements are being met.

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