10 Easy Safety Steps to Lockout Procedures

The most important portion of any lockout program is education of the employees. This step by step summary is intended for the person who is actually locking out the equipment. However, it is important for all people who work on or around the equipment to understand these procedures. The employer must provide the necessary equipment, training and education for the worker. When it comes to practicing safety within all steps, it relies on the on the worker involved. Remember only qualified personnel should be appointed to any lockout procedure. Here is a safe and sure way to protect all your assets.

The 10 Step Safety Program includes:

1. Employee Education and Training - Education to Lockout Procedures is the most important step that's why it should be considered top priority. This is not a one time training session. Procedures and plans must be reviewed consistently throughout the year with every employee and visitor. This is the best way to prevent injuries and stay safe.

2. Identify Energy Sources from Utilities - Identify the power sources such as electricity and gas. Recognize all potential hazards present on the equipment to be locked out. Alert any potential affected employees of the impending lockout/tagout procedure.

3. Look for Specific Stored Energy On the Equipment To Be Serviced - Many types of equipment have hidden dangers in the form of stored energy. Identify all potential dangers from stored energy and take the steps to guard against its unexpected release. Examples of these are:

This equipment is not locked out safely until any potential hazard is addressed.

4. Determine the Power-Down Sequence - The order in which you shut down equipment can be vital. If you should down certain equipment in the wrong order it could create a dangerous situation.

5. Turn Off All Power Controls - Sometimes equipment runs off multiple energy controls. If equipment uses both electricity and natural gas for example both need to be shut off. Some types of equipment cannot be locked out. This equipment must be tagged out. These tags are meant for a warning to indicate a person may be working on this equipment where powering up may result in injuries. These tags do not prevent the machine from being turned on so everyone must take special care when they come across a Lockout/Tagout Tag. There are specific rules and regulations when it comes to tagout procedures.

6. Lock, Tag, Block, Bleed or Vent the Specific Machine Energy Sources - There are several types of equipment that can be used to properly lock an energy source. Some common types of lockout devices are valve lockout, breaker lockout, plug lockout, switch lockout, multiple lockout hasps, and ball valve lockout.

7. Clear the Area and Test 'Off' Controls - Test the machine by turning the controls on. Make sure the area is clear of all employees.

8. Turn the Controls Back 'Off' - Once you have determined all the power portions of the machine are without power. Switch it back to the off position.

9. Perform the Required Maintenance - Now you are ready to perform whatever maintenance you need. If you need to test out the function you are repairing remember to always follow these procedures when the machine is turned on then off again.

10. Remove Locks/Tags/Devices & Power Up - Once you are all set repairing you can remove any lockout devices and tags. This can only be done by the person who installed the lockout devices. You are now ready to turn the power back on.

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