If any employees of a company are required to perform hazardous maintenance or repair of machines and equipment, a formal, written Lockout/Tagout Program must be developed and implemented. This program must include machine-specific procedures for shut-down and re-energizing equipment and training for “affected” employees (i.e., those who operate, service or work near the equipment in question).
These procedures must be followed during the servicing or maintenance of machines, to avoid the “unexpected energization or start up of the machinery or equipment, or the release of stored energy, which could cause injury to employees.”
Procedures will vary, depending upon (1) whether the source of hazardous energy is electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, mechanical, thermal or chemical, and (2) how many employees are affected. Nevertheless, all employees should be familiar with lockout/tag out procedures for their company’s operations and a review of these should take place periodically.
The following SIX STEPS are a review of basic steps for safely de-energizing equipment. :
- Notify all “affected employees” that the equipment will be shut down.
- Shut down the equipment by normal stopping procedures.
- “Isolate” all the equipment’s energy sources.
- Lock out and/or tag out the energy isolating devices with assigned, individual locks.
- Release or restrain any stored energy by grounding, blocking, bleeding down, etc.
- Assure that no personnel are exposed, then test the equipment to assure that it will not operate.
Restoring Equipment to Service:
- Check to assure that all employees have been safely positioned or removed from the area.
- Verify that equipment controls are in neutral.
- Remove lockout devices and/or tags and re-energize the machine or equipment.
- Notify affected employees that servicing is complete and the equipment is ready for use.
According to the latest statistics, every ten minutes, two people are killed and hundreds suffer disabling injuries from accidents on the job. DON’T BE A STATISTIC! Know what part you play in the Lockout/Tag out Program.
* 29 CFR 1910.147 describes federal requirements and exempted operations.