If your work involves activities with equipment and machinery such as set-up, un-jamming, repairs, cleaning, servicing, and adjusting, then this blog is for you. The energy feeding into the machinery and equipment (electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, etc.) gives them power to run and do work.

Uncontrolled energy causing the sudden and unexpected movement of a machine or any part of a machine can kill or injure you. Each year workers are killed, body parts are crushed, and others lose fingers, hands, arms. For example, in just two years in California (2005 and 2006) there were 9 fatalities and 113 amputations.

Why do accidents happen?

Some common reasons include:

  • all hazardous energy sources were not de-energized and controlled
  • equipment was not locked out or tagged out after powering off
  • did not actually think through the steps of the energy control before starting work
  • inadequate or no training
  • took shortcuts

The law provides protection from the unexpected start or sudden release of hazardous energy by requiring employers to implement a Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) Program. This is required by OSHA’s 1910.147, the Control of Hazardous Energy Sources standard. Your company has specific procedures that must be followed if you are authorized to do so. If you are not authorized to perform lockout/tagout, NEVER bypass a guard or reach into machinery. Contact the maintenance department or your supervisor if necessary. 

Locked out machinery or equipment cannot be restarted unless the lockout device is removed. Once the machinery or equipment is locked, maintenance and repairs can safely be performed. This could mean the difference between life and death. Tagged out means to place a tag out device on the machine or equipment to show that it is prohibited to restart or operate the machine or equipment. In order for employees to work safely, they must receive training and understand their employers Lock Out/Tag Out Program.

Our team of experts has over 50 years of experience with assisting our clients with Lock Out/Tag Out programs at their facilities. Whether you need to create your program, reassess your current program, or training for employees, contact us today to set up a consultation!

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