Safely and securely isolate circuit breakers, machine switches, electrical plugs, push buttons, and many other electrical switches. With the right lockout devices, employees will be able to severely reduce or even eliminate electrical hazards in the workplace.
TRADESAFE’s electrical lockout tagout devices are all made and designed to be compliant with OSHA 1919.147. They are guaranteed to be non-conductive, thus ensuring that they’re safe to use on electrical switches. They are also made to be hardwearing, which means that they are reliable and can be used for a long time to come.
Devices like plug locks, padlocks, hasps, circuit breaker locks, and more are commonly used in lockout tagout procedures. Find the best options here to keep your workplace safe, compliant, and injury-free.
Electrical lockout tagout is the process of locking and tagging sources of hazardous energy. These energy sources supply power to a variety of machines that need routine maintenance and servicing. To protect maintenance and repair workers from accidents and injuries, hazardous energy sources need to be shut down.
The use of energy isolation devices or lockout tagout devices physically restrains electrical power sources from accidental or unintended re-energizing. These devices include circuit breaker locks, plug locks, and cable locks. They are secured with personal safety locks and subsequently outfitted with tags that include important information about the lockout tagout procedure in place.
A proper electrical lockout tagout procedure can help ensure the safety of maintenance and repair personnel. The procedure is meant to effectively prevent the accidental or unexpected re-energization of machines or equipment. By locking out the sources of hazardous energy, employees are protected from accidents that can cause injury or even, in some cases, death.
One lockout tagout method used in electrical work is locking out the circuit breakers. TRADESAFE offers a variety of circuit breaker lockout devices, with each variation designed for circuit breakers of different sizes.
It’s also possible to use plug locks to prevent machines from getting plugged in. Typically, plug locks are best used if employees need to de-energize some machines instead of an entire area in the facility. Plug locks are also secure and can lockout up to two plugs at a time.
Electrical safety is important because electrocutions are one of the most common causes of death in the workplace. Electrocutions can also cause debilitating injuries that can lead to disability. Thus, because these incidents are so common, it’s important to make sure that employees are as safe as possible from injuries caused by electrocution.
OSHA guidelines help make sure that your facility is a safe place to work. Your workplace’s electrical safety programs should be compliant with OSHA safety guidelines. OSHA has even published a list of electrical safety guidelines that can help various facilities ensure that they’re reducing as many risks as possible.
Here are some of the OSHA guidelines that can help save a life:
· Electricity and water don’t mix. Don’t operate electrical equipment while standing in a puddle of water. Make sure to have an electrician check a machine that has gotten wet before you energize and operate it.
· Only qualified electricians can do repairs.
· Keep 3 meters or 10 feet of distance between yourself and overhead wires. Always assume that overhead wires are energized, even when they’re down or seem to be insulated.
· If an overhead wire has fallen, don’t touch it. Call an electric utility service instead.
OSHA standard 1910.47, or the control of hazardous energy, also includes protocols and regulations concerning electric energy. These protocols and regulations involve the lockout and tagout of all sources of hazardous energy, including electricity.
A lockout tagout program is highly effective in improving electrical safety in the workplace. It ensures that there is a secure and physical restraint on an electrical power source. This way, a locked-out machine or piece of equipment cannot be plugged back in. This greatly reduces the chances of someone accidentally or unintentionally starting the machine back up.
Only the individual or team that locked out the machine will be able to remove the locks and restraints. This ensures that no unauthorized or uninvolved personnel will remove the locks before the machine can be safely re-energized.
An electrical LOTO program also includes the use of tags that display information like who installed the locks, why the locks were installed, when, and more. These tags can serve as a visual warning that tells other employees not to tamper with or attempt to remove the locks.
Additionally, LOTO programs are often designed to be simple and easy to learn and follow. Employees will not have to learn long and complicated procedures that will leave a lot of room for error. This simplicity greatly contributes to the effectiveness of LOTO programs.
While electricity can be dangerous, we have harnessed it well enough that we can use it safely by reducing the risks of harm and accidents. Even so, it’s still important to be mindful of the common hazards that come with working with electricity. These hazards include:
· Accidental re-energizing
The accidental re-energizing of a machine that’s under repair or maintenance can cause electric shock.
Water is known to conduct electricity very well. Because of this, water can cause shock or electrocution.
· Electrical wires
Touching or bumping into overhead electrical wires can also cause electrocution. It’s also important to make sure that if you are holding or touching a ladder or any other object, it won’t touch the wires either.
· Faulty, frayed, or improper wiring
Faulty wiring can cause shock, electrocution, arc flashes, and more. Damaged wires can be harmful as well and will need to be repaired or replaced.
· Arc flashes
An arc flash is produced by electric discharge traveling through the air between two conductors. It can produce a very bright light and high heat, and it can also cause injury to anyone nearby.
A proper lockout tagout procedure, the use of proper LOTO devices, and effective visual communication can help employees avoid these hazards in the workplace.
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.