Every year thousands of employees are injured whilst repairing and maintaining machinery. Scafftag, the equipment status management specialist, has devised seven simple steps to safer machinery using Lockout Tagout products
Lockout Tagout (LOTO) is a critical safety standard that impacts virtually all workplaces that have machinery. The Lockout Tagout programmes are designed to prevent accidental start-up of machines or equipment, and to prevent the release of stored energy during servicing or maintenance. This is done through the use of specific procedures that involve applying locks and/or tags as direct controls. Equipment is then isolated from energy sources and injuries to workers are prevented.
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER), states that ‘every employer shall ensure that where appropriate work equipment is provided with suitable means to isolate it from all its sources of energy.’ Therefore, the lockout procedures serve as a check sheet to ensure that employees completely de-energise the equipment before servicing, avoiding mistakes and minimising the risk of accident or injury. Scafftag’s seven steps to Lockout/Tagout implementation are:
Step 1: Preparation
Prepare for the shutdown of energy source. Identify the type of energy used (e.g. electrical or mechanical) and its potential hazards. Locate the isolator(s) and prepare to ‘lock off’ energy source.
Step 2: Notification
Inform operators and supervisors who may be affected by isolating the machinery and inform them of the work being undertaken.
Step 3: Shut-Down
Turn off the equipment or machine.
Step 4: Lock Off
Lock off all energy sources using the Scafftag lockout device to de-energise the equipment or machinery. Apply a lock so no one can turn the switch or valve whilst the work is being undertaken. Warn against accidental use by attaching a Scafftag lockout warning tag.
Step 5: Test
Test all machine controls and electrical circuits to ensure energy is completely isolated.
Step 6: Repair or rework
Perform maintenance and/or servicing.
Step 7: Return to Service
When all work is done and lockout/tagout devices are removed, be sure to test and look to ensure all tools and mechanical and electrical lockout devices have been removed.
Lockout Tagout products are ideal for workplaces using industrial machinery. The products can be used when making repairs or performing routine maintenance to equipment that someone else might remotely activate, clearing a jammed mechanism, or when a guard or other safety device has to be bypassed or removed.
Scafftag’s range of Lockout Tagout products can be used for both mechanical and electrical based equipment. For mechanical equipement, lockout products can be used on equipment from ball valves to gas cylinders. For electrical equipment, lockout, products can be used to lockout plugs, panels and breakers.
Scafftage believes its seven steps to machinery safety can help reduce risk of injuries to your employees.
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