- Category: Blog
It’s true that accidents do happen, but there are also ways to keep them from happening.
One way is being vigilant in the use of locks or lockout devices that physically secure each energy isolation point so the equipment they serve can’t be energized during repair or maintenance. Another less-safe way is the use of tags. Tags should always be used with locks to draw attention to the fact that the equipment is locked out, and to ensure it can’t be inadvertently turned back on.
Lockout/tagout systems involve two types of workers: authorized people and affected people. An authorized person is someone with the knowledge, training and experience to engage in hazardous energy control. The authorized person generally performs the required repair or maintenance and they inform all affected employees that lockout/tagout procedures will be performed before beginning work on the equipment. The authorized person puts on locks and tags, controls the keys to the locks being used, and is the only person allowed to remove locks or tags after work is finished. The authorized person might be the machine’s operator or someone else such as a designated repair person.
An affected person is any worker affected by the equipment being out of service and who is not involved with lockout/tagout or maintenance operations. Employees who work in the same area are also considered affected if their job duties are interrupted by the equipment being shut down. We do not want an affected person turning on equipment by mistake.
A general lockout/tagout procedure can look like this: