What are lockout/tagout devices?

What are lockout/tagout devices?

When using the lockout/tagout procedure it is necessary to place a physical device on either the electrical supply cord, or the place where the machinery in question is plugged in. These are the items that will stop other people from inadvertently energize a machine, putting the person in or around it in danger. There are quite a few different types of LOTO devices that a company can use. Knowing about these devices, and the ways they work, can help ensure you pick the right one for your facility.

Padlock Devices

Padlock style LOTO devices are placed on the plug or other part of the electrical system to ensure that it physically can’t be used. There are a number of different sizes and types of padlock that can be used, so make sure to choose one that will be able to be secured to the area where it will be used in your facility. This, and all lockout devices, should say “LOCKED OUT” and “DANGER” right on them so people know why they are there.

Clamp-On Breaker Devices

A clamp-on breaker style LOTO device will open up and then clamp down onto the electrical points to ensure power can’t be restored while in place. This option often fits a wider range of different electrical system, which is why it is quite popular in many facilities. This kind of device is usually red in color so it will easily stand out.

Lockout Box Device

A LOTO box style device simply fits around the electrical plug and closes around the cord. The box is then locked so that it can’t be opened. Unlike many other styles, this one doesn’t fit snugly on the actual prongs of the power cord, but rather isolates it in a large box or tube structure that can’t be opened without the key.

Other Styles of LOTO Device

There are a variety of other types and styles of lockout/tagout devices that are available too. Some companies even have custom devices built so they fit the exact situation where they will be used. No matter what type of device you are using, you’ll want to make sure that it is able to physically prevent a power cord or other power source from being plugged in. When these devices are used properly, they can help to keep everyone in the facility safer.

 

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Additional Resources

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Lockout/Tagout Guide
 
Tool Organization Guide
 
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