Keep your team safe with these lockout/tagout procedures
What does ‘lockout/tagout’ mean?
Lockout/tagout (LOTO) is a safety method enforced by attaching the appropriate lockout or tagout devices to energy-isolating devices, in accordance with an established procedure, ensuring that the energy-isolating device and the equipment being controlled cannot be operated until the lockout device is removed.
Lockout devices may comprise of a lock, blank flanges and bolted slip blinds, to hold an energy-isolating device in a safe position, thereby preventing the energizing of machinery or equipment.
4 main lockout/tagout solutions
It’s important that workplaces provide suitable tools for the job, especially when the job involves high-risk work. For example, with lockout safety, it is critical that to have the most versatile and appropriate devices available for the workers.
There are different types of lockout/tagout solutions that comply with safety standards. The 4 types of lockout devices that are available to help meet safety requirements in workplaces and establish responsibility and accountability among the workers are:
- Safety hasps
These lockout devices/safety lockout padlocks must be provided by the workplace and standardised. They must be distinguishable from other locks, used only for lockout purposes and always be identifiable with the name of the person who applied the lock.
Lockout padlocks should be ‘key retaining’ to ensure the padlock is secured and locked before the key can be removed. A best practice for choosing a safety padlock is to select a lightweight, non-conductive model that can easily be customised for the facility.
Tags play a vital role in lockout/tagout. Tags alert against hazardous conditions that may occur if a machine or piece of equipment is energised. Tags communicate important information about the lockout condition and can provide photo identification of the worker performing the maintenance.
Lockout tags are generally used in two ways: With locks to identify the lock owner; or on an exception basis, tags can be used without a lock. If the tag is used without a lock, safety requirements stipulate that the tag must:
- withstand the environment to which it is exposed.
- be standardised and distinguishable from other tags.
- include clear warnings and instructions and be attached with a non-reusable, self-locking device that can withstand 23 kg of pull force.
There are many types of lockout devices that are available to effectively and safely secure energy isolation points. These three types of lockout devices will help ensure the energy isolation and lockout that are needed in every workplace or facility.
Electrical lockout devices provide ways to secure the electrical power of machinery equipment in an “off” position. Examples include circuit breaker lockout devices and an electrical plug lockout device.
Multi-purpose cable lockout devices are used when a padlock or other fixed device does not provide the flexibility required for proper lockout. Often, a single cable lockout device is used to lock out several energy isolation-points.
Valve lockout devices supply compressed gases, liquids, steam and more in a facility. A valve lockout device will conceal or physically prevent the valve’s operation. The four main types are gate valves, ball valves, plug valves and butterfly valves.
Safety hasps permit multiple workers to apply padlocks to a single energy isolation point. The hasp keeps equipment inoperative while repairs or adjustments are made. The control cannot be turned on until the last worker’s padlock is removed from hasp. The two types of safety hasps are labelled lockout hasps, which feature write-on labels, and durable steel lockout hasps that are made of high-tensile steel.
To ensure compliance of lockout tagout regulations it is essential to equip workers with the proper tools and warning devices. In addition, is to provide workers a lockout procedure for each individual piece of energised equipment.
Graphical lockout procedures are considered a best practice for the facility because they provide clear and visually intuitive instructions to workers. Implementing these four lockout solutions, along with the appropriate procedures and training, will ensure the facility is safety compliant with the NSW Code of Practice.
Choose Locksafe for your lockout/tagout needs
If you have any questions about LO/TO procedures and equipment, contact Locksafe. Locksafe produces a comprehensive range of effective and simple to use positive locking energy immobilisation and/or interruption safety compliant lockout products.
Locksafe specifically addresses the operationally harsh, diverse Australian and Worldwide Mining and Construction Industries and is ready to help your business. Contact us on 08 9455 7255 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will contact you back.