What’s Lockout Tagout And Why Would It Apply To Me?
Lockout tagout is a safety procedure that makes sure any dangerous machinery and energy sources get turned off. They are kept off to avoid them unexpectedly starting back up while there is maintenance or service work being performed on them. If they were to be prematurely started up, they could potentially harm the individual servicing or maintaining it. OHSA has extensive documentation on lockout/tagout regulations. Who is required to adhere to OSHA regulations? Since the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 1970, it has had the mission “to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.” Most private sector workers in all 50 states, Washington DC, and other US jurisdictions under Federal authority must adhere to OSHA regulations. Federal government workers also have to adhere to the OSHA regulations that workers in the private sector must follow. When it comes to the public sector, local and state workers are not covered by Federal OSHA. However, they do have OSHA protections if they work in a state that has a program that is approved by OSHA. Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and the US Virgin Islands have OSHA-approved plans that only cover employees working in the public sector. Summary of OSHA standard 1919.147 (Control of Hazardous Energy) The OSHA standard 1919.147 for the control of hazardous energy was established by OSHA with the goal of minimizing the number of accidents and injuries occurring in the workplace. Prior to these regulations, injuries were commonplace while working on heavy machinery. The oversight of disengaging the power source prior to entering a hazardous area would sometimes lead to devastating consequences. The lockout/tagout system is a safety procedure that not only shuts down machines, but blocks the power they need to start back up. According to standard 1919.147, a worker must isolate the power source to block the machine from turning on. Next, they will have to attach a lockout tag to it and use a padlock to actually lock the machine. This alerts other workers that they cannot re-engage the system prior to the completion of maintenance on it. Once maintenance is complete, the lock and tag can be removed. By following OSHA standard 1919.147(c)(2), essentially, a machine must be turned off, locked, and have a tag attached to it. This ensures the machine is safely inert while it is worked on. Benefits, besides being compliant, when meeting the OSHA standards OSHA regulations ensure the safety of workers. Safety procedures ensure an employee is not injured and unable to work for an extended period of time. A drop in productivity can be avoided, as well as having to hire and train someone else to fill the empty position. Additionally, potential lawsuits or insurance payouts related to the injury can be avoided. Finally, OSHA standards being in place can help with the recruitment of top talent. To stay compliant with lockout/tagout regulations, you should purchase lockout tagout kits and lockout tagout locks. TRADESAFE® offers a convenient lockout tagout kit that will make compliance with OSHA standards simple and effective.