May Safety Focus: Lockout/Tagout

Lockout/tagout procedures are in place to safeguard employees.

Would you work on your car while it’s running?

Would you install a new light fixture without shutting off the power?

Chances are, you answered no to both questions because you know doing either puts you at risk for injury or worse.

The same is true when servicing equipment at your worksite. Luckily, a lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedure is in place to ensure your safety and minimize the risk to you and others involved. Not only is it an OSHA standard requirement for safe practices and procedures, but it also just makes sense.

What does lockout/tagout mean?

Lockout/tagout refers to practices or procedures that protect employees from machine hazards during service or maintenance activities. Basically, lockout devices keep the equipment in a safe, or OFF, position. LOTO procedures, when followed completely, give the person servicing the equipment confidence that they can complete the work safely, without the equipment accidentally re-starting or releasing hazardous energy.

What is hazardous energy?

Hazardous energies can be electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical and thermal. These are the energies that allow our equipment to function. Controlling these hazards through the LOTO procedure can prevent an estimated 50,000 injuries each year.

This month, each division’s Safety Team will deliver LOTO training. Stay tuned for more information at your division, and remember – when in doubt, lock it out!

 

Safety first. Always. And, it starts with me.

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