The control of hazardous energy regulation, commonly known as lockout/tagout (LOTO), refers to specific practices and procedures to safeguard employees from the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities. This energy can take the form of electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal or any other type of energy.
Approximately 3 million workers service equipment and face the risk of injury if LOTO is not properly implemented. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), compliance with the LOTO standard [29 CFR 1910.147] prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year. Workers injured on the job from exposure to hazardous energy lose an average of 24 workdays for recuperation.
Some ares of the LOTO standard are cited more frequently than others. Let’s take a closer look at the violations and how you can avoid a citation: