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The Importance of Lockout/Tagout

Sunday, December 21, 2008
Lockout/Tagout Hazards:
  • Lockout/Tagout saves lives and can help save YOUR life!
  • Every year, many workers are killed when the equipment they are working on is accidentally started up or energized. Workers lucky enough to survive have reported they never expected a coworker or other person to energize the circuit, open the valve, or attempt to operate the machine.
  • All sources of “energy” must be isolated or “removed” before any worker is allowed to repair, maintain, adjust, or setup a machine or process that has potentially dangerous sources of energy.
  • Energy can include electrical, air pressure, hydraulic pressure, steam, or mechanical energy found in springs and even gravity.
  • Even when shutoff, some machinery and equipment has “stored” energy such as the pressure that remains in a hydraulic cylinder or the electrical energy that remains in a capacitor even when the source of power has been shutoff.
Protect Yourself:
  • Learn and understand the sources of energy in the environment where you work.
  • Remove or “isolate” the machine or system from all sources of energy and operation.
  • Carefully remove or “bleed” stored energy from the machine or system being serviced.
  • Place a lock and tag on each control used to isolate energy from the machine or system.
  • Attempt to start or operate the machine or system AFTER you have shut off and removed stored energy from the machine or process.
  • Always remove the lock and tag from all sources of energy when you have finished. Not removing locks and tags when complete may cause others to lose respect for the lockout/tagout program.
  • ALWAYS use lockout/tagout … even if what you have to do will only take a minute. It only takes a second or two to get injured or worse!

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.

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