In order to ensure the safety of personnel who are working on machines, the OSHA or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration demanded that all companies employ the Lockout Tagout Safety System. Over a hundred lives have been lost due to personnel carelessness, but with the Lockout Tagout System, the statistics should cease to increase. What exactly is the Lockout Tagout System or the LO/TO? The Lockout Tagout System is a process that aids in the control of hazardous energy. When machines are being repaired, serviced, or maintained, it is compulsory that it be disconnected from its power source, lest the personnel be injured by electrocution or other hazardous consequences. The LO/TO practices the control of hazardous energy by isolating the energy source and making sure that the particular machine is safe to work on.
How exactly does the LO/TO system aid in the control of hazardous energy? The entire process is comprehensive albeit simple: diminish the energy source and alert people that the energy source should not be turned on. The Lockout part of the system makes use of a variety of lockout devices, such as clamps, padlocks, wedges, chains, key locks, pins, or valve clamps. These devices make sure that the machine is disconnected, and it locks the particular connection so that it can never be connected, except by the person who initiated the lockout. The lockout system employs the control of hazardous energy by disabling people to connect the machine to the energy source, making it a good safety procedure to employ.
However, lockouts are not enough for the control of hazardous energy. In some cases, the lockouts do not do the job, and when the main energy source is turned on, hazards can still happen. This is when the tagout system enters the play. The tagout system aids in the control of hazardous energy by warning people not to turn on a particular main power source. The tagout system makes use of ribbons and tags, warning an employee that personnel is working on the machine. The tagout system should never be used to replace the lockout system, and the personnel who attached it should be the only one to detach them. Both the LO and the TO devices should be durable, difficult to remove, and easy to see. Employees should be warned that an LO/TO procedure is happening, and should not be allowed to come anywhere near the machine that is being serviced.
When lockouts and tagouts are used at the same time, the end result is a safe environment where people can work on. However, if it is not used correctly, dangers can still happen. Up to a hundred deaths had been caused by employing the LO/TO system the wrong way. A company should brief and train its employees on the right way to employ the LO/TO system for control of hazardous energy, lest dangers still occur. The company should also make sure that the OSHA guidelines are followed systematically, and that everyone who works on machines be trained with the LO/TO system for control of hazardous energy.