OSHA states that “Compliance with the lockout tagout standard prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year.”, which is why every relevant industry needs to be able to develop and implement necessary lockout tagout (LOTO) programs.
It goes without saying that industrial equipment can be dangerous when it’s being used. That’s why machines are designed with safety equipment and operators wear personal protective equipment when using them.
But machinery can also present hazards when it’s not in operation. As long as energy sources such as electricity, natural gas, steam, pressurized water, and compressed air are attached to the machine, a hazard exists. Workers who maintain or repair the equipment, or who will be working in close proximity to it, need to be made aware of these hazards and recognize that steps have been taken to protect them.
That’s why OSHA requires a formal lockout tagout program. While it may seem that having a formal program with multiple steps may be overkill, it actually makes good sense. After all, most companies use a variety of equipment that has very different safety practices. In addition, any number of workers may be asked to deal with the equipment, and some will be more familiar with it than others.
Just as airline pilots with thousands of hours in the cockpit still go through step-by-step checklists before even the shortest flight – even though they could probably perform the actions in their sleep – having a detailed lockout tagout program is one of the best ways to ensure that nobody gets injured and no machinery gets damaged.
To help you ensure your compliance, and greatly reduce the risk of an accident/incident related to lockout tagout, Safety OnDemand has built this 9-step Employer’s Guide to walk you through a complete path to LOTO compliance. Click on the buttons below to get started. Keep in mind that you are not forced to go to each step sequentially, the Guide was built so you can jump in and out at any stage.