Adding an extra layer of security can’t hurt, especially when it comes to industrial facilities that have certain safety hazards. This is something that TRADESAFE group lockout boxes can offer.
These lockout boxes come with multiple lock points that can each accommodate one personal padlock per authorized employee. Employees can remove their personal locks once they are done working. Even if just one padlock remains attached, the box will not open, and the machine’s keys will remain inside. Thus, the machine cannot be powered on until the very last employee is done working on it.
This is another effective way of ensuring the safety of employees and that any valves, switches, or breakers remain locked until the machine is safe to operate again.
Group lockout tagout is a lockout tagout method that involves multiple authorized personnel working together to perform maintenance or repairs on machines or equipment safely. The lockout tagout procedure thus involves using multiple lockout tagout devices, and the protocols can differ from the protocols in LOTO procedures that involve a single employee.
Typically, group LOTO procedures are more complex and require more coordination between members of a crew. These procedures can involve a single crew of multiple people, but they can also involve multiple crews. Tools like lockout tagout lock boxes and lockout tagout stations can help multiple employees coordinate and communicate with each other more effectively.
When multiple employees or crews are working together on the same lockout tagout job, there should be one authorized employee responsible for implementing LOTO procedures. This individual is also responsible for all the other employees currently working the maintenance or repair job.
LOTO procedures always involve authorized personnel. In group lockout tagout procedures, some of these employees are supervisors and/or managers in group lockout procedures.
Padlocks that are specially made for lockout tagout procedures are essential. They are made of materials that can withstand harsh environments, and they are also more easily recognizable as part of a lockout tagout procedure.
Other tools include other lockout tagout devices such as hasps, tags, circuit breaker locks, plug locks, cable locks, and more. Lock boxes and LOTO stations are tools that can help employees keep track of devices and strictly adhere to lockout tagout procedures.
Have a single employee in charge – Primary responsibility must be given to one authorized employee for communicating, coordinating, and implementing the energy control procedures.
Assign an individual lock to each worker – Providing one lock for each worker increases group lockout cooperation and communication. If the device remains attached, the authorized person in charge of the group is aware that the task has not been completed yet. Therefore, re-energizing the equipment is not yet safe.
Use work authorization permits – A work authorization permit is a document that authorizes employees to perform specific tasks. These documents may be used to achieve compliance with the group lockout tagout requirements.Utilize work authorization permits – Such a document grants employees the authority to carry out particular tasks while also ensuring that the group lockout tagout criteria are met.
The main purpose of a lockout tagout lock box is to secure safety padlock keys that are being used in a lockout tagout procedure. Typically, employees have their own personal safety padlocks that they can use to lock out hazardous energy sources.
Each employee involved in the group lockout procedure needs to place their personal safety padlock keys inside the lock box and their padlocks locked to the box cover. This way, the keys will remain inside the LOTO box as long as there is a member of the group who is still actively working on a machine or piece of equipment. Thus, no lockout tagout device will be removed before any other device.
Group lockout activities necessitate more cooperation and communication between all employees involved. The following are the 7 steps to a more structured and successful group lockout:
Each employee involved in a lockout tagout procedure should use at least one lock each. For example, if 5 authorized employees are working together on the same maintenance or repair job, there should be at least five locks used in the procedure. Each employee must also place their personal safety locks, and each lock can only be removed by the person that placed them.
The use of a lockout tagout lock box can help streamline this process even further. Once all employees have placed their personal safety padlocks on the relevant isolation points, they can place the keys to these padlocks in the lock box. Each member of the team can then place another personal safety padlock on the lock box itself.