A lockout tagout (“LOTO”) lock can be an essential tool to ensure the safety of your fellow employees when working with hazardous energy. Because of this, it is critical to complete extensive due diligence when selecting the right LOTO lock for your business. But when contemplating several different LOTO locks, there are several things to keep in mind.
First, a key point. You cannot use a standard padlock from a hardware store to protect your colleagues from hazardous energy. While the temptation may be there to save money and purchase a lock that is “good enough,” doing can jeopardize the health of your employees. Along with this, as will be explained below, purchasing an off-the-shelf lock from your local hardware store may place your organization at risk for non-compliance with federal regulations. Therefore, you will need to use a lock that simply isn’t “used for other purposes.” It must be a specialized lock that meets the requirements below. You can tell that a LOTO lock is a specialized lock because it looks different from other padlocks.
Next, you must confirm that your selected LOTO lock complies with the appropriate OSHA standard. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) released a specific regulatory standard governing the control of hazardous energy sources (lockout/tagout). In all likelihood, your business must comply with the OSHA standard. It is critical for you and your corporate counsel to read the standard, as it governs LOTO locks on everything from standardization of your LOTO locks to how they must be used in your business.
Beyond an analysis of the OSHA requirements, however, you will want to ensure that your LOTO lock meets several key durability standards. By following these standards, you will be able to purchase a lock that keeps you safe while meeting your needs. If you were to look at our collection of LOTO locks, you would notice that they include these standards, giving you the confidence that your purchased LOTO lock offers the best protection.
For instance, our industrial-grade LOTO locks are constructed to provide the most inherent durability. In terms of the “right” materials for your LOTO locks, you can go several different directions. You can find LOTO locks made out of chrome steel, plastic resin, and more. We have chosen a thermoplastic body, however, due to its temperature durability and non-conductivity properties. Our LOTO locks also contain a brass cylinder (due to its resistance to corrosion) and a stainless steel shackle (due to its durability, sustainability, and lack of conductivity compared to alternatives ). Ultimately, it is a LOTO lock that resists corrosion and provides best in class durability for all environments.
If you foresee your LOTO lock experiencing a significant amount of vibration, it may raise questions about durability. In fact, for whatever reason, many LOTO locks rattle on the inside of the body. This rattling, over time, can wear out the internal components. The sound can also be annoying. Our LOTO locks, however, were tightly engineered to minimize the problem. Their inherent design can give you even more confidence that your LOTO locks will hold up under stress.
There are some other critical safety features in the best LOTO locks. As an example, one important safety feature found in our LOTO locks is a premium cylinder reserved for safety padlocks. This is extremely important, as it confirms that the padlock is not unlocked. Because the workday can be busy and stressful, having this feature in your LOTO locks can help your colleagues avoid any mistakes.
Another critical feature of any LOTO lock is that it contains one key per lock. While this is a simple and relatively self-explanatory feature, it goes a long way in ensuring the safety of you and your colleagues. In fact, purchasing and using LOTO locks that contain one key make compliance with the OSHA standard much more likely. Intuitively, this makes sense. By having one key, the odds are much greater that the LOTO lock is being removed by the employee who applied it in the first place, rather than an untrained employee.
To comply with the OSHA standard, LOTO locks must have certain labeling. Specifically, they need to indicate the identity of the employee applying the LOTO lock. This is an essential tracking feature that is closely tied to the “one key per lock” directive. It confirms that your lockout tagout procedures are organized and precise. Our collection of LOTO locks has a writeable label that can allocate responsibility for each LOTO lock in your organization.
All of these factors must be considered when purchasing LOTO locks. While you will want to consider the unique challenges and conditions in your business, purchasing LOTO locks with the features above will ensure compliance and protect your colleagues.
Lockout tagout compliance is an extremely important component of any business that has employees exposed to hazardous energy while servicing and maintaining equipment and machinery. Failing to do so can not only expose your organization to fines and other penalties, but it can put your employees at serious risk of physical harm. If you are thinking of purchasing a lockout tagout kit, it is also important to take a broader look at your compliance efforts as a whole.
Ultimately, you must comply with OSHA’s regulatory standard on the control of hazardous energy sources (lockout/tagout). The regulatory standard provides comprehensive guidance on how to create a robust lockout tagout program. That said, even if you have heard of OSHA’s regulatory standard on this issue, you may not be sure whether your lockout tagout locks or safety program is OSHA compliant.
As you likely know, OSHA (which stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is a U.S. Department of Labor agency that sets and enforces standards to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for all employees. In terms of lockout tagout compliance, OSHA has set forth a specific regulatory standard—called 29 CFR 1910.147—that addresses the necessary procedures to control hazardous energies in your business. 29 CFR 1910.333 is also relevant if you have employees working on electric circuits and equipment. Because it is the employer’s responsibility to protect employees from hazardous energy sources, following the OSHA standard is in your and your employees’ best interest.
Looking at OSHA’s guidance on 29 CFR 1910.147, you can see that there are several minimum performance requirements for the control of hazardous injury. While you will want to look at the entire standard yourself to ensure that your lockout tagout locks and safety program are in full compliance, some of the more significant requirements include:
Ensuring that new or overhauled equipment is capable of being locked out. Using only lockout tagout devices that are authorized for the particular equipment or machinery and ensuring that they are durable, standardized, and substantial. Ensuring that lockout tagout devices identify individual users. Establish a policy that permits only the employee who applied a lockout tagout device to remove it. That said, 29 CFR 1910.147(e)(3) says that if the specific employee is not available to remove the device, it can be removed under the direction of the employer—so long as specific procedures for removal have been developed, documented, and incorporated into the employer’s energy control program. Provide effective training as mandated for all employees covered by 29 CFR 1910.147.
Once again, this is just an excerpt of the required procedures and systems to make your lockout tagout program OSHA compliant. Not only will you want to take a full look at OSHA’s regulatory standard, but you will likely want to speak to your company’s legal counsel to ensure that you comply.
Ultimately, however, much of OSHA’s guidance on lockout tagout assumes that complying businesses have developed thorough compliance procedures. These procedures must be formally documented and cover all affected equipment. If you haven’t done so already, you are at serious risk of being non-compliant with OSHA’s regulatory standard under 29 CFR 1910.147(c)(4). You can look to that section of the standard to see the specific procedures you need to document.
For instance, some of those procedures include specific steps for the placement, removal, and transfer of lockout devices and the responsibility for them (29 CFR 1910.147(c)(4)(ii)(C)) and specific requirements for testing a machine or equipment to determine and verify the effectiveness of lockout devices, tagout devices, and other energy control measures. (29 CFR 1910.147(c)(4)(ii)(D)).
Along with written procedures, consistent training is expected. You can look to 29 CFR 1910.147(c)(7) for the specific training requirements. When lockout tagout systems are used, certain employees must have a basic understanding of how tags are used and their overall purpose to keep employees safe. Critically, employees must be retrained—per 29 CFR 1910.147(c)(7)(iii)—whenever there is a change in their job assignments, a change in machines, equipment or processes that present a new hazard, or when there is a change in energy control procedures. Because of this, you must keep a close eye on whether any major changes in your business require retraining. If you have any doubts, it is likely in your best interest to go forth with retraining.
As with any type of compliance program, you will need to complete your due diligence to ensure that your lockout tagout kits and overall safety program are OSHA compliant. By being vigilant, however, you will mitigate your risks of non-compliance and sufficiently protect your colleagues from hazardous energy.
When it comes to working with dangerous equipment, ensuring that the proper safety regulations are in place is a matter of protecting your employees. Though it would be nice to live in a world where we all operate with absolute safety in mind 100% of the time, things like a quality lockout tagout (LOTO) lock can help remind employees when safety protocols need to be remembered. This can be the difference between life and death in some circumstances, which is why our TRADESAFE team takes these products so seriously. Even though there are plenty of companies who produce lockout tagout kits, we think that our company offers a few key things that make us a great choice for meeting your LOTO lock needs. Commitment to Quality The TRADESAFE team knows that our lockout tagout locks might very well play a role in saving someone’s life, so we place a special emphasis on quality every step of the way. Our products are created using high-quality materials that we know your teams can count on. Every step of our process is focused on providing quality products that are consistent in nature so you can count on the same experience every single time. When you buy from TRADESAFE, you can always rest assured that your product will be the same great quality as any of our others. As part of our continuous commitment to quality, we listen to our customers and encourage feedback so that you can help us to serve you better. User-Friendly Design The designs that we use are meant to provide ease of use while still adhering to the specific OSHA requirements. This serves the dual purpose of ensuring that your employees can do their jobs easily while still remaining in complete compliance. We pride ourselves on sturdy and reliable designs that make it easy for your employees to work with. Our products are designed to withstand consistent use in high pressure environments without breaking down. Additionally, our products are rigorously tested and continuously reviewed for improvements. We understand that times change, and we want to make sure that our products change with it. Convenient Product Shipping The TRADESAFE headquarters proudly resides in Wichita Kansas. While we love living in this state, we really love how convenient it makes shipping anywhere in the United States. Our centralized location makes it easy for us to get you your products in no time at all, so you are never left waiting for these important safety implementations. Our location is just one of many things that we believe helps us to serve you better. We are proud to be able to get you products quickly. Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed At TRADESAFE, we know that our business is really all about our customers. This is why we do our very best to encourage open and honest feedback from those who work with us. We consider our relationship with our customers to be a partnership, and we want to make sure that we are always doing our part when it comes to meeting your needs. If you ever run into problems with a TRADESAFE product, we want to hear about it so that we can get the situation resolved and help you to find solutions. We value our customers, which is why we put in the work to provide the best LOTO kits around. This is simply one area where you absolutely must get what you pay for, and we know that. It is this belief that drives us to engage our customers and continue to work hard when it comes to providing you with high-quality products that you can trust. We will work with you every step of the way to ensure that your needs are being met.
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.
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.
OSHA standards are sets of rules that are in place to ensure the safety of employees in the workplace. These standards are meant to ensure that individuals and teams always know the proper way to handle hazardous materials. They set the regulations regarding how a team should interact with a proper lockout tagout lock system. LOTO tags, in particular, are designed to send a clear visual signal that what they are attached to poses a potential hazard and who is authorized to remove the lockout device and restore service. Additionally, they help keep everyone safe while they work with potentially hazardous energy.
1919.147 Summary for Tagging The 1919.147 tagging process is an OSHA standard that makes it easy for employees to safely interact with equipment or machinery that might have a high energy risk during powerup processes. It is designed to ensure that all members of the team always understand when it is and is not safe to turn on a machine or energy source at any given point in time. Specifically, these standards are in place for machines that put out enough energy to harm an employee in the event it was unexpectedly turned on. Using the 1919.147 procedural steps, it is easy for everyone involved to understand when someone is working on the machine or in an area where they might be at risk if another member of the team or another team were to turn on the energy source or machine. This quick and easy system allows for employees to communicate without vocalizing where they will be. This allows various teams to work on systems without relying exclusively on communication or scheduling, which can easily be compromised due to human error. When an employee does utilize a lockout tagout device, it is acknowledging that the equipment has been properly deenergized and is ready to be worked on. Further, it is that employee’s way of communicating to all other staff members that they will be working on the machine. This guarantees that everyone is aware that the machine can not be safely turned on, or an employee might be at risk. It guarantees that no matter who is working on the machine for an intended purpose, those responsible for the powerup process will always be aware of their presence.
Lockout and Tagout General Standards From a physical perspective, there are several key standards that must be met for an acceptable lockout device, and these devices must be standardized within the workplace by color, shape, or size. First, the device must be durable enough to endure the environment and certain weather conditions. These devices must be able to be exposed to the environments that they will be placed in for the maximum period of time that they are expected to be within the environment. These devices must be able to withstand significant force and must be substantial in nature so that they cannot be forcefully removed using raw strength or any device like bolt cutters. Additionally, these devices must not deteriorate when faced with certain weather conditions or certain corrosive materials including acid or alkali metals. Tagout devices have their own standards that must be met in order to meet the requirements for such a device, and these devices must be standardized within the workplace by color, shape, or size. In addition to this, tagout devices must be standardized by print and format as well. The devices used to attach the tags must be durable enough to avoid any accidental removal, non-reusable in nature, designed to be attached by hand, self-locking, and unable to be released by any strength that is equivalent to less than 50 pounds. a one-piece all environment-tolerant nylon cable tie is the minimum standard. The primary purpose of the tag is to warn against hazardous conditions in the event that the equipment is energized and to indicate that the operation or movement of energy isolating devices from the ‘safe’ or ‘off’ position is prohibited. Finally, both devices, locks and tags, must be designed with a clear identification system that make it easy to know the identity of the employee utilizing the device. They must also be accompanied with clear training and directions on use for each employee across any teams known to be using the devices.
What Makes Tagging to Meet the 1919.147 Different from Any Other Type of Industrial or Hazard Tagging? Tagging to meet the 1919.147 is unique because it is a critical part of the lockout process for potentially hazardous energy. It is exclusively for energy and cannot be used for any other kind of tagging or hazardous identification needs. The need for a tagout system in this circumstance is intended to aid in communication during the servicing and maintaining of equipment that specifically poses a risk for hazardous energy. Overall, lockout tagout OSHA complaint tags must be:
Standardized by either shape, size, or color.Print and format must be standardized.Not used for any other purpose.Clearly warn of hazardous conditions. OSHA recommends one of the following ; Do Not Start, Do Not Open, Do Not Close, Do Not Energize, Do Not Operate.Withstand certain conditions and make for easy use within a specific type of environment.