As part of a safe system of work, lock out tag out should be employed to ensure hazardous energy has been safely isolated. When conducting maintenance, repairs or cleaning work on any machinery and equipment, a safe procedure should be in place to ensure stored energy has been safely dispelled, and re-energisation does not accidentally occur. Here we have highlighted the essentials for a lock out tag out procedure.
What is Lock Out Tag Out
When correctly implemented and followed, a lock out tag out procedure ensures that machinery or equipment is completely shut off, stored energy safely isolated and re-energisation cannot occur accidentally. Recognised as a safety standard, lock out tag out is widely implemented as part of safety regulations and used across a variety of machinery and equipment.
Stages of Lock Out Tag Out
The lock out tag out procedure begins with the preparation of the equipment and the area. Workers should be made aware a lock out procedure is about to take place to ensure they don’t accidentally attempt to restart the equipment. The equipment is then shut down using the manufacturers procedure.
After shut down has occurred, all energy sources should now be isolated and devices applied to the equipment. At this point lock out devices can be implemented by utilising padlocks from Reece Safety and identifier tags. Stored energy should now be isolated by blocking moving parts and inspecting for any remaining movement.
The procedure now requires the try out phase, whereby you safely attempt to restart the equipment. If the procedure has been implemented correctly this should not occur. After safely shutting back down, you may now complete the desired work. After work has complete, the lock out devices can be removed and the equipment safely restarted.
Lock Out Tag Out Essentials
As part of the lock out procedure, there are a few essential pieces of equipment required to ensure safe isolation. These include the following:
Safety Padlock: A highly important aspect of lock out tag out is having the correct locks to place on your equipment. By choosing the correct safety padlock, specifically designed for lock out tag out, will help to ensure a safe system of work.
Identifier Tag: Tags allow for a visual method of identifying who applied the lock, as this is the only person during a lock out procedure permitted to remove it. The tags often include information such as name, type of isolation and the date of the lock out. These tags will sometimes include photographs for easy identification.
Lockout Hasp: Vital for multi-person lock out procedures, lock out hasps allow energy sources to be isolated by more than one worker for a safe system of work. This means the equipment cannot be re-energised until every worker has removed their lock from the hasp.
Key Cabinets: For padlocks with individual keys, storing these within a key cabinet will ensure only authorised personnel can access them. Key cabinets are also especially useful for storing the equipment keys to prevent accidental re-energisation.
Lock Out Stations: These are highly beneficial for storing all of your lock out equipment in one place. As lock out equipment should not be used for any other procedures in the workplace, keeping them all together in a secure environment can ensure they don’t become misplaced or misused.
When implementing a lock out tag out procedure in the workplace it is vital that employees have been trained to a high standard and that the correct equipment is on hand. Without this safety procedure, or a high level of training, accidents in the workplace are far more likely to occur.