Lockout / Tagout
Why and how to increase work safety with a Lockout / Tagout program
What is Lockout / Tagout?
Lockout / Tagout is a planned security procedure, which means that energy supplies on plants and machines are locked and marked properly while maintenance work or repair is carried out.
This security procedure protects employees from the risks posed by machines or electricity.
In short: Lockout / Tagout saves lives!
Lockout / Tagout is also often abbreviated as LO / TO and referred to as LOTO.
The purpose of Lockout / Tagout
A sensible and responsible security procedure with LO / TO helps:
Ensures employees and equipment.
Make visible the ongoing work and thereby minimize the risk of unintentional restart of machinery and / or plant.
Reduces the risk of occupational accidents and resulting costs.
Shortens downtime and thus increases productivity.
Reduces direct and indirect costs associated with downtime to e.g. spare parts and labor.
Signs work safety and responsibility.
Applicable legal requirements
Rules regarding Technical aids - The Danish Working Environment Authority's Executive Order No. 1109 of 15 December 1992 - states the following:
"During work on cleaning, repair, maintenance and the like of a technical aid, this must, as far as possible for the work in question, be stopped and in an effective manner ensured commissioning".
EU Directive 89/655 specifies the minimum safety and health requirements for the use of equipment. Section 2.14 states:
"All types of equipment must be provided with clad visible devices with which they can be separated from each energy source"
European Standard EN 1037 deals with safety equipment and measures relating to the energy isolation of machines and the effect deposition to prevent dangerous equipment from restarting. The norm ensures safe and secure treatment within a risky area. CEE 89/455 describes minimum rules for safety and protection of employees when servicing industrial equipment.
Why use a Lockout / Tagout program?
Reduce work injuries and costs
European statistics show that 10 to 15% of all fatal accidents are related to maintenance work.
Common injuries include fractures, tears, amputations, burns and electric shocks.
Fines and costs as a result can be soaring.
Less downtime = higher productivity
A well-organized LO / TO program containing clearly labeled energy sources, easy-to-follow procedures and easy-to-access locking tools can greatly increase the maintenance and service activities. Employees can avoid time-consuming tasks such as pipeline tracking and electrical circuits to control the relevant energy control points.
As a result, the maintenance work is completed more efficiently, downtime is reduced and the machines are kept running at the highest performance levels.
Reduce indirect costs
Work accidents can have a significant impact on work schedules and planning and hence productivity.
Not correct start-up of machinery, etc. can also cause extensive damage to the machinery and add repair and replacement costs.
LO / TO is best known practice!
Lockout / Tagout has become globally recognized as Best Safety Practice in many industries and industries, and is also a legal requirement in eg. USA.
4 steps to your Lockout plan
Prepare a written policy and procedure description of methods for managing energy sources
Purpose and scope
Authorized staff enforcement
Education and training methods
Special conditions that are important for the locking procedure.
Identify and label hazardous energy sources
Provide staff with correct lockout / tagout items
Educate / train the staff in the correct use of Lockout / Tagout equipment and inform about the security policy
- Executives: Thorough training, as they must work with the Lockout / Tagout products.
- Directly influenced staff: Thorough information as their workstation can be locked by the Lockout / Tagout devices.
- Other staff: General information to understand the impact and importance of the Lockout / Tagout procedures.
Lockout / Tagout solutions
The many different Lockout / Tagout units allow for all types of production valves, regardless of type (ball valve, butterfly valve, cone valve or slide valve), location on the plant and whether small, large or oversized.
Disconnecting and locking circuit breakers with special Lockout devices easily and effectively blocks access to power sources.
The Tagout units visualize ongoing work, often with information about the person in charge / department and time frame for the task. The tagout goods can at the same time act as a locking bracket, which increases safety when several employees work at the same plant at the same time.