Visual communication is an effective and proven way to improve electrical safety. Things like warning signs, warning labels, written instructions, and the like can help prevent people from making dangerous mistakes.
In lockout tagout procedures, visual communication is quite important. For example, all devices come in bright and highly noticeable colors, most often red. Other colors include yellow, blue, green, orange, and purple. These colors are meant to be eye-catching and hard to miss.
Lockout tagout tags also present a good way to visually communicate with others. These tags often come in white and bright red or green, with big and bold font. The words “Warning” or “Danger” are also prominently displayed and easily readable even from several steps away. LOTO tags are meant to effectively communicate to others that a lockout tagout procedure is taking place.
However, it’s important to understand and remember that visual warnings are not enough to safely deter others from re-energizing a machine that’s still under maintenance. Warning signs and labels will not physically stop people from unknowingly or accidentally plugging in a machine, turning a valve, or flipping switches to their “on” position.
Thus, locks are still the more important part of lockout tagout procedures. Visual communication is vital as well, but physical locks are more effective at ensuring that employees are kept safe.