Employees handling machinery maintenance and servicing must receive lockout tagout training. This is to protect them from injuries that can happen due to an equipment’s unexpected startup or stored hazardous energy release. The lockout tagout standard of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that organizations and facilities adopt and implement the following procedures with regard to equipment:
All employees shall be instructed about the requirements and procedures of the lockout tagout safety program regardless of their position or assignment.
A lockout tagout authorized employee has been given the responsibility, training, and authority to implement lockout tagout procedures on particular equipment. He or she must be certified by his or her supervisor on each piece of equipment to demonstrate his or her thorough understanding of the lockout tagout safety procedures. His or her responsibilities include:
A lockout tagout affected employee is someone who works with a machine covered by the lockout tagout safety standard. He or she is at risk of being harmed by a machine requiring lockout tagout.
Although affected employees are not authorized to apply or remove lockout tagout devices, they must understand the procedures so that they can monitor whether there are violations when it comes to applying the lockout tagout procedure.
He or she is someone who is working in an area where a particular LOTO procedure is used. Like affected employees, other employees cannot put or remove lockout tagout devices.
All affected, authorized, and other employees must be trained as required by 1910.332 and 1919.147(c). Other OSHA lockout tagout training requirements must be customized to a workplace’s needs.
The employer must either develop and provide lockout tagout training or outsource this from independent lockout tagout training providers. Either way, the following must be considered:
When it comes to LOTO, the supervisors of the authorized employees must ensure that the employees are certified and that training has taken place. A supervisor’s responsibilities include:
They must also provide the equipment that the authorized employees need for the equipment-specific LOTO training. The authorized employee will be presented with equipment-specific written procedures to verify their understanding of the procedure so that they perform it accordingly.
If outside contractors are hired to repair equipment where LOTO is required, the authorized employee will be the one to inform them of the energy control procedures for a particular machine. If needed, he or she will assist the contractors in locking out the machine or equipment.
If a group of employees is tasked to repair a machine, each employee will put his or her personal tag or lock on the group lockout device as soon as he or she begins to work. He or she will remove this device once the work on the machine has been completed.
On the other hand, if there is more than one authorized employee required to lock or tag out a machine, there should be a primary authorized employee to:
They are given LOTO training so that they are aware of the restrictions and can identify locks and tags. Here, they will be instructed never to reenergize or restart a locked-out or tagged-out machine. They will also be retrained if there is a change in OSHA regulation or their employer’s guidelines. This retraining can be done through awareness campaigns.
Retraining is required when:
How knowledgeable are your employees with regard to the existing LOTO procedures in your workplace? You can use the following checklist for your reference:
1. Has there been a change in equipment, machines, processes, or job assignments?
2. If so, have employees been retrained for these changes?
3. Are the locks uniquely keyed, identified, and used only for LOTO purposes?
4. Does the tag used with the lock identify the employee servicing the equipment or machine?
5. Have machine and equipment-specific LOTO procedures been documented?
6. Does the employee know where the documented LOTO procedures are located?
7. Before starting the LOTO processes, does the employee inform the affected and all other employees in the area?
8. Can the employee identify all the sources of hazardous energy and their associated hazards for the machine or equipment that is to be locked out?
9. Does the employee follow the proper LOTO procedures for de-energizing the machine or equipment?
10. Does the employee demonstrate the right steps for the placement, removal, and transfer of LOTO devices?
11. Does the employee use the right methods to verify whether the machine or equipment was de-energized?
12. Before releasing the equipment or machine from LOTO, does the employee do the following:
A. Inspect the equipment or machine to ensure it is operationally intact?
B. Ensure that all employees are positioned at a safe distance?
C. Notify affected and other employees in the area that the LOTO devices have been removed?
13. If the answer is “No” to questions 2-11, has the employee been retrained?