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Lockout & Padlocks

What is Lockout-Tagout?

Lockout-tagout is a safety procedure used in industrial and research settings to ensure that dangerous machines are properly shut off and not able to be started up again prior to the completion of maintenance or servicing work. This process requires that hazardous energy sources be "locked out" and "tagged out" to protect workers from the risks associated with unexpected energization or release of stored energy.

What Are Lockout/Tagout Procedures Designed To Do?

The primary objective of lockout-tagout procedures is to:

  • Prevent Accidental Start-up: Ensure that machines are completely shut off and cannot be started up again until maintenance or repair work is fully completed.
  • Secure Hazardous Energy: Block any hazardous energy flow, such as electricity, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, and mechanical energy.
  • Protect Workers: Provide physical locks and warning tags to safeguard workers from energy sources that could cause harm.

How to Use Lockout-Tagout

Implementing lockout-tagout involves several critical steps to ensure safety:

  1. Preparation: Identify all energy sources connected to the equipment. Understand the hazards posed by these energies and the methods to control them.
  2. Notification: Inform all affected employees about the upcoming lockout-tagout procedures and ensure that they understand the reasons for the lockdown.
  3. Shutdown: Turn off the equipment following the manufacturer’s instructions to minimize any risks.
  4. Isolation: Isolate the machine from its energy sources.
  5. Lockout-Tagout: Attach lockout or tagout devices to each energy-isolating device. These devices should only be handled by authorized personnel.
  6. Stored Energy Check: Ensure that any potential stored energy is also isolated or dissipated.
  7. Verification: Verify that the equipment is isolated from its energy source and de-energized before starting any work.

Choosing the Right Lockout-Tagout and Padlocks

Selecting the appropriate LOTO and padlock equipment involves:

  • Durability and Compliance: Choose devices that are durable and compliant with OSHA standards.
  • Device Variety: Ensure you have a variety of devices that can fit different types of machine controls and energy isolating devices.
  • Ease of Use: Opt for lockout-tagout devices that are easy to install and remove by authorized personnel.