What is a Lockout Tagout Training?
Lockout Tagout Training is a safety procedure that is a standard among many industries to ensure that hazardous and dangerous machines and energy sources are correctly and properly shut down. These are very important procedures especially in vital infrastructures like power plants, dams, and other energy factories and plants. It ensures that machines and equipment are stopped and properly isolated when they need to be serviced and repaired. One of the purposes of the Lockout Tagout procedure is to prevent people from accidentally activating a machine while it is undergoing maintenance or servicing. Any electrical safety training program includes lockout/tagout training as a major element.
How does it Work?
The Lockout Tagout procedure works by installing a group lock out on the machines. The main tool for the lockout tagout procedure is a special type of lock called a lockout scissor clamp, which has several padlock holes to keep it locked. In each padlock hole, a group of persons will insert and lock their pad locks, preventing the opening of the scissor clamp. Every padlock has a different key, and no two keys and padlocks must be the same. The idea is to get many people to lock down the machine so that no one will be able to operate or accidentally turn them on. Likewise, the group of people will need to unlock their own padlocks connected to the scissor clamp to release the machine to be able to activate it again. There are teams that will be assigned to lockout and tag out the necessary equipment and power sources to avoid hazardous leakages in energy and accidental activation on the machines and equipment.
Why is it Important?
Lockout Tagout training is important because it prevents hazardous occurrences, injuries, and other problems from happening. One example is wastage in energy. The Lockout Tagout training teaches personnel to identify energy sources such as sockets and outlets, isolate the energy sources by moving or adjusting them or the equipment so that no leakages in energy will happen, locking down and tagging the energy sources, and provide evidence that the lockout is successful.
Consequences of not having proper Lockout Tagout training can be very grave. If not properly administered, an employee can get severely injured when a machine suddenly becomes active; he may get electrocuted or become a victim of physical trauma due to mechanical error. One of the worst accidents that happened due to human and mechanical error which may have been prevented by Lockout Tagout Training is the Chernobyl Meltdown Disaster in Russia. Another incident is the Three Mile Accident in Pennsylvania, which is the largest nuclear accident in the history of the United States.
There are guides on the Lockout Tagout Training available online. These will provide employees and managers the basic information and procedures on how to implement the training. The modules contain information on the laws and statutes that make it a requirement for all plants to implement the said procedure. They also have detailed procedures on how to proceed with the actual implementation of the Lockout Tagout. There are also several very good safety training videos available as well as lockout tagout powerpoint presentations on the topic. Whatever media you choose to use, the importance of lockout tagout training is well known.