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Locks and Security News: your weekly locks and security industry newsletter
17th April 2024 Issue no. 701

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The importance of Lock Out Tag Out procedure

* Reece-Safety.jpgHazardous energy should be safely isolated prior to any maintenance or cleaning work taking place on machinery, electrical or industry devices. In order to ensure that accidental re-energisation does not occur, which in turn could lead to injury or fatalities, a lock out tag out procedure should be in place.

What is Lock Out Tag Out
Lock Out Tag Out is a safety procedure which when followed correctly ensures that machinery is shut off completely, any stored energy is safely isolated, and accidental start-up cannot occur. As part of the Lock Out Tag Out procedure, isolated power sources are locked in the first instance and then tagged by the individual who placed the lock. The tag acts as an identifier with details of the person who placed the lock, this is then the only person who can remove this device.

Lock Out Tag Out Procedure
Legislation requires that a well defined step-by-step procedure is in place in order to control hazardous energy. Lock Out Tag Out has 8 definable steps to ensure the safety of workers.
1. Preparation
Before the shut down of equipment begins, any workers in the area should be made aware that a Lock Out Tag Out procedure will be taking place. The energy and hazards associated with the machine should also be considered at this point.

2. Shut Down
Use the appropriate shut down procedure for your equipment to turn the machine off completely.

3. Energy Isolation
At this point all energy sources and secondary power sources should be isolated. Isolation devices should be applied to the equipment to block it from the energy source.

4. Apply Lock Out Devices
The energy isolation devices should now be locked and tagged. Ensure to use the correct device for the machinery. If many padlocks and keys are required, use key cabinets to safely store and control them. Tags should then be filled out and applied securely to the tag out device.

5. Energy Control
Any stored energy in the equipment should be safely isolated. Do this by inspecting for any remaining movements, block potential moving parts or anything which could fall. Piping systems should be drained and any trapped pressure relieved.
6. Equipment Isolation
Ensure areas are clear and that devices have been correctly locked so re-energisation cannot occur. At this point you should attempt to start the equipment to try out your isolation procedure. Make sure all controls are switched off after testing.

7. Complete the Work
Make sure maintenance, cleaning or repair work is carried out safely and in line with the lock out procedure.

8. Restart
Once your work is complete, the lock out devices can be removed and the machinery safely restarted. The locks must only be removed by the person that applied and tagged them.

Ensuring that your business is compliant with the safe isolation of equipment and hazardous energy will prevent accidents and injury occurring. Workers should be trained in the Lock Out Tag Out procedure in order safely complete maintenance or cleaning of equipment.


6th March 2019

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