Six Essential Elements of Lockout Tagout
1. Program and policy
A written lockout document establishes and explains the elements of your program. It's important to take into account not only OSHA's guidelines, but also custom requirements for your employees that ensure they can understand and apply the program to their workday.
5. Provide proper lockout devices
Provide employees with the necessary devices to keep them safe. There are many products on the market, and selecting the most appropriate solution for your application is the key to lockout effectiveness. It's important to document and use devices that best fit each lockout point.
Annually review, revise and update your program and procedures to create a safety culture that proactively addresses lockout tagout. This allows your company to focus on maintaining a world-class program, instead of starting from scratch each year and reacting only when something goes wrong.
4. Training and periodic inspections and audits
Train authorized, affected and other employees, communicate processes and conduct periodic inspections. Training should include OSHA requirements and specific program elements, such as your machine-specific procedures.
3. Identifying and marking energy isolation points
Locate and identify all energy control points, including valves, switches, breakers and plugs, with permanently placed and standardized labels or tags.
2. Machine- or task-specific procedures
Lockout procedures should be formally documented and should easily identify the equipment covered. They should also detail the specific steps necessary for shutting down, isolating, blocking and securing equipment to control hazardous energy, and include steps for the placement, removal and transfer of lockout tagout devices.
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