When considering this question you need to first determine what your objective is. If the lockout devices are for specific needs having nothing to do with compliance of OSHA Standard 1910.147 then you may not have the use for devices that cover a broad range of applications. We are going to assume that the primary purpose of the lockout supplies you are seeking, in addition to general safety, is to comply with OSHA regulations.
Generally, you have to protect employees from energization or startup of machines or equipment, or the release of any kind of stored energy, that could harm employees. This is usually something to consider when servicing machines and equipment. Some of the control points that need to be locked:
Electric circuit breakers on machines or in control panels. The size of these breakers varies and it’s important to know what they are before ordering a kit.
Valves – gas is usually controlled by ball valves, but sometimes it can be controlled by gate valves such as on forklifts and other portable gas containment systems. High pressure water and air could also be deemed hazardous, so locks for these systems should be considered as well.
Electric plugs – sometimes locking the breaker isn’t reasonable because the breaker has other important machines or equipment items running off the same power source. In this instance, a plug lockout would be the safest solution.
Some situations may arise that are outliers and require unorthodox equipment. Most lockout tagout kits wont contain equipment to handle these kind of scenarios. When faced with this situation, it’s important to understand what is considered to be a lockout device; a device that uses a positive means such as a lock to hold, in a safe position, an energy isolating device and prevent the energizing of machine or equipment, shall not be used for any other purpose, must be standardized.
Padlocks, tags, tag attachments, and hasps are always going to be needed to properly carry out your established procedures if they are OSHA compliant. Most all kits are going to include these.
Where are these kits going to be stored and how will they be used. Many kits on the market come in bulky light duty boxes that aren’t easy to identify and challenging to store and transport. Our kits come in easy to identify bright red canvas pouches. They are compact and easily stow in a cabinet, tool box, or lockout tagout station.
Buying lockout equipment individually is usually much more expensive, so even if some of the items in the kit you choose may not be immediate needs, you are likely much better off buying the kit closest to the set up that you actually need.