Machine Safety – Lockout/Tagout
If you have employees that are required to perform maintenance or repair machines and equipment, a formal, written Lockout/Tagout Program must be developed and implemented.
This program must include machine-specific procedures for shut-down and re-energizing equipment and training for “authorized” and “affected” employees (i.e., those who operate, service or work near the equipment in question).
These procedures must be followed during the servicing or maintenance of machines, to avoid the “unexpected energization or start up of the machinery or equipment, or the release of stored energy, which could cause injury to employees.”
Procedures will vary, depending upon (1) whether the source of hazardous energy is electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, mechanical, thermal or chemical, and (2) how many employees are affected.
Nevertheless, all employees should be familiar with lockout/tagout procedures for their company’s operations and a review of these should take place annually.
The following SIX STEPS are a review of basic steps for safely:
- Notify all “affected employees” that the equipment will be shut down.
- Shut down the equipment by normal stopping procedures.
- “Isolate” all the equipment’s energy sources.
- Lockout and/or tagout the energy isolating devices with assigned, individual locks.
- Release or restrain any stored energy by grounding, blocking, bleeding down, etc.
- Assure that no personnel are exposed, then test the equipment to assure that it will not operate.
Restoring Equipment to Service:
- Inspect work area to ensure removal of hazards
- Employees safely positioned and notified
- Lockout/Tagout devices removed by authorized employees
- Equipment re-energized and tested
- Notify affected employees that servicing is complete and the equipment is ready for use.