The importance of lockout or tagout procedures

Anyone who works with heavy machinery would agree that lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedures are essential in keeping the workplace safe and accident-free. It is a crucial step when doing maintenance repairs on machinery or equipment to ensure the safety of your workers. LOTO procedures prevent the equipment’s accidental operation by isolating energy sources in the machine.

Keeping hazardous energy in check

Hazardous energies can come from a variety of sources in the workplace. While some energy sources are easily identifiable — such as electricity or kinetic energy from a falling object — energy can also be stored in a spring wound too tightly or air pressure in a pneumatic system. Identifying the sources of energy is only part of the solution, as it is also important to isolate or lock out any stored energy that these machines may have, such as in capacitors for electrical equipment or the built-up pressure in hydraulic devices. Proper isolation of energy sources and discharge of stored energy is crucial before doing any maintenance or repair in these machines. If left improperly isolated, these energy sources can potentially cause severe injury or death to workers.

Lockout or tagout

Lockout or tagout procedures are implemented to prevent any unauthorized or accidental use of machinery while some maintenance or repair is done. This would entail having an authorized group of people who would identify all energy sources and know how to keep them under control. These individuals would lock out the equipment and apply their tags to quickly see if people are still working on the machine and for identification purposes. Once all maintenance or repairs have been done, the locks and tags will be removed, and the authorized personnel can re-energize the machine.

If you still have questions about the importance of lockout or tagout procedures, visit us today at KC Supply Co.