Implementing a lockout/tagout program is a great way to improve safety in any facility. In many cases, it is even required to remain compliant with OSHA regulations. After implementing this type of program, however, you will also need to know how effective it is so you can make adjustments as needed. Knowing what makes a safety improvement program effective is critical for ensuring you have the safest environment possible. The following must be part of all lockout/tagout programs to make them effective.
Elimination of Electrical Hazards
The first, and most important, thing that a lockout/tagout program must do is eliminate the risk of electrical hazards when it is implemented. This means having procedures that remove all sources of energy and taking steps to discharge any stored energy in the system. At its core, lockout/tagout is a program that is focused on electricity and its hazards. In order to be effective, all electrical systems must be accounted for.
Proper LOTO Training
The next thing that must be done for an effective lockout/tagout program (and really, this will be done first) is to ensure everyone is trained on the system. This will start with the people who perform work in and around machinery, but it must be given to others who work in the facility as well. Everyone needs to be able to recognize the lockout/tagout tags and understand their meaning, so they don’t try to remove the lock and restore the machine to use.
Custom Lockout/Tagout Policy for Each Machine
It is not enough to just inform people that they need to start using the standard lockout/tagout practices while performing work on a machine. To really be effective, a lockout/tagout program needs to be customized to each machine where it is used. This will ensure there aren’t any overlooked power sources or other hazards that need to be addressed.
Evaluating the effectiveness of a lockout/tagout program is important. This means reviewing the procedures for each machine, looking into reports of potential problems, investigating any issues that come up, and more. By constantly evaluating a safety program like lockout/tagout it is possible to make ongoing improvements, which will help to keep everyone safer as time goes by.
- What is a Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) program?
- What types of hazardous energy can a lockout/tagout program control?
- What are machine-specific lockout/tagout procedures?
- Who is responsible for the lockout/tagout program?
- What other tools should be used in a lockout/tagout strategy?
- Where should lockout/tagout tags be placed?
- Why should a facility implement a LOTO program?
- When should lockout/tagout be used?