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November 17, 2015

SLC 2015: Goodbye LOTO- Bringing Productivity Back to Safety

Latest posts by Atlantic Research Team (see all)

“Safety doesn’t have to come at the expense of productivity.”

If one were to boil down the Safety Technology track at EHS Today’s Safety Leadership Conference into one sentence, that would be it.

It was a sentiment that was, of course, welcomed rather warmly by the crowds of EHS professionals in attendance, all of whom have likely been arguing the same point in their plants for years.

But, when Jimi Michalscheck – business development manager at Rockwell Automation – opened with that line in his session on Advanced Lockout/Tagout of all things, he left even that crowd scratching their heads. And for good reason.

In most safety systems (and regulations), there tends to be some wiggle room – space enough for clever engineers to work with the EHS team to maximize safety without interrupting the work process.

“However,” Michalscheck noted, “following OSHA’s lockout/tagout definition, there are certain parameters that you absolutely have to follow. There’s no wiggle room.”

This is what lockout/tagout (LOTO_ is for, he explained. No matter what you do, no matter why bypasses operators try to sneak in, the machines are off and everyone is safe.

This, while certainly providing much needed safety for the operators, can add up to some costly downtime.

Michalscheck pointed to a case packer to highlight the point.

These machines, he said, are “notorious for jamming, notorious for interlocks, and notorious for accidents and citations because of the frequency people are in them.”

He estimated that a full LOTO on one of these can take up to 15 minutes to complete and that the machine can jam five times in an hour of operation. That can add up to $23,000 in lost productivity per hour, per machine, he said.

“But what if I told you,” he added, “that we could design a different system that only takes 30 seconds?”

He was referring to an exception tacked on to OSHA’s LOTO requirements (1910.147(a)):

“Exception to paragraph (a)(2)(ii): Minor tool changes and adjustments, and other minor servicing activities, which take place during normal production operations, are not covered by this standard if they are routine, repetitive, and integral to the use of the equipment for production, provided that the work is performed using alternative measures which provide effective protection.”

Read Full Article At Ehstoday.com

Related Lock Out/Tag Out Training DVDs:

LockOut TagOut Training Video

loto Created specifically to assist facilities in complying with the employee training requirements of OSHA”s “Lock-Out/Tag-Out” regulation. View Product

JJ Keller Lockout Tagout Training Video on DVD

loto Covers types of hazardous energy; energy isolating devices; definitions of “lockout” and “tagout”; requirements for locks and tags. View Product

Lockout/Tagout Lightning In A Bottle

loto Train your employees and boost your lockout/tagout measures with this shockproof program. View Product

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