Lockout-Tagout is a reference to established safety procedures for use in industrial and research facilities.
Lockout-Tagout was first created and introduced by OSHA in 1982 in response to the high number of workers suffering injury and death in those facilities, OSHA (Occupational Safety And Health Administration) itself is a federal agency of the United States and was established in 1971.
The regulations went into effect in 1989, and are directly responsible for a dramatic decrease in the number of injuries and deaths in the US workplace.
Lockout-Tagout procedures ensure that dangerous machines have been properly shut-down and are not capable of being re-started before the completion of maintenance or servicing work. They require that all hazardous energy sources have been:
(3) physically made impossible to run.
This is done to render the equipment safe to work on by eliminating the possibility of unintended release of stored energy before the start of any repair or maintenance procedure. This is accomplished through the locking and tagging out of ALL types of energy sources to include electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic, and gravity.
The primary scenario for this to come into play is the case of someone trying to use the equipment without the knowledge of a worker who is already there working. (possibly out of sight).
It is possible for that person to be electrocuted, or injured by the movement of some physical component of the machine.
Another set of opportunities for injury could arise if the worker triggers a switch or valve controlling any form of energy, comes in direct contact of a heated element…ect.
Even gravity is addressed as a form of stored energy, such as when a worker is in an elevator shaft and the elevator is overhead.
Many Companies offer Lockout-Tagout training to manufacturing and research facilities. The people who work in these facilities go through this type of training on a regular basis because these mishaps are incredibly expensive to those companies. ( manufacturing and research facilities).
Many of the companies who provide the training also offer a wide range of Lockout-Tagout devices. Every conceivable variety of device has LO devices designed for it, including all types of manual controls (push buttons, selector switches, foot pedals…etc.) also circuit breakers, standard 120v connectors, manual valves…etc, also there are face-shield, proper footwear and clothing considerations.
And lastly, I feel it is important to know that these regulations change and are added to over time because OSHA constantly keeps track of pertinent statistical data and adjusts accordingly.
Further information can be found here:
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