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:
Andrew moormansays:07/21/2017 at 10:46 am
Yes I have a question when we arrived on the job site the unit was shut down and loto by the plant official and the unit operators. We knew of the lock out tag out process but we were installing walls on the shute of a log debarker do we require to be locked out tagged out if were installing new materials on it? And also we were on a 10 hour shift and most of the other contractors were out there are on a 12 hr shift do we require a separate lockout box cause we were on a shorter shift. One more question does crane operators require to lock out on that unit.
Karensays:07/25/2017 at 8:24 pm
Hi Andrew, great questions!
The purpose of OSHA’s Lockout Tagout (LOTO) standard is prevent injuries to anyone who is servicing or maintaining machinery or equipment that could “unexpectedly energize” or release stored energy. It’s important to note that LOTO applies to all forms of hazardous energy including electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, mechanical, chemical and thermal.
If installing new materials on a piece of equipment could potentially put someone in harm’s way, the standard applies. Even though the possibility may seem remote, locking the machinery out during the entire installation process is still required if there is the potential for harmful energy.
When multiple people are working on the same system, everyone who is working in or around the machinery needs to have their own lock. I have seen situations where there are more than 30 locks on a system.
Hasps can be added to a lockout box if there aren’t enough spots for everyone’s lock. But, with very few exceptions, everyone should be locked out at the same point. You really shouldn’t have two separate boxes unless they are both locked to the same lockout point. It’s a good idea for each person to put their name and phone number on their padlock so that they can be contacted in the event that they forget to take their lock off of the box or hasp at the end of the job.
If you have one shift that works longer than the other, perhaps the employees on the longer shift put their locks on the box and the employees on the shorter shift put their locks on a hasp. This arrangement could also be a good check to ensure that everyone from the first shift has safely made it out of the area.
Cranes have mechanical energy. So, crane operators who are involved in constructing, installing, setting up, adjusting, inspecting, modifying and maintaining and/or servicing machines or equipment would fall under the LOTO standard [29 CFR 1910.147(b)].
I hope this information helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions.
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