Identify the sources of energy

Mechanical energy.

  • Energy created by a machine’s moving parts, like wheels, springs, or elevated parts

Hydraulic energy.

  • The energy of pressurized, moving liquids, usually water or oil, in accumulators or lines.

Pneumatic energy.

  • The energy of pressurized, moving gas, as found in air in tanks and lines.

Chemical energy.

  • Energy created by a chemical reaction between two or more substances.

Thermal energy.

  • Heat energy; most commonly, steam energy.

Stored energy.

  • Energy stored in batteries and capacitors.

Have a LockOut TagOut Program

You should already have a lockout Tagout program in place that can identify and eliminate all hazards related to hazardous energy that could potentially kill or injure a worker.

There’s no such thing as a “generic” LOTO procedure. LOTO procedures must be machine- or equipment-specific.

Under the standard, your procedure for each machine or piece of equipment must include:

  • A statement on how to use the procedures;
  • Specific procedural steps to shut down, isolate, block, and secure the machine;
  • Specific steps designating the safe placement, removal, and transfer of lockout/tagout devices and identifying who has responsibility for the lockout/tagout devices; and
  • Specific requirements for testing machines to determine and verify the effectiveness of lockout devices, tagout devices, and other energy-control measures.
Did You Know?
Lockout Tagout is the 5th most cited OSHA violation each year(1) Companies can be fined upwards of one million dollars for having an improper, faulty, or non-existent lockout tagout procedure(2) OSHA is cracking down on lockout tagout violators According to OSHA, following a proper LockOut/TagOut procedure can prevent 120 fatalities and over 50,000 injuries each year (4)
Action Items
  • Have a thorough lockout tagout procedure
  • Always stick to the procedure or program
  • Always assume machines are on, charged and the LOTO procedure is necessary
  • Train employees about the importance of Lockout/Tagout

LockOut TagOut Safety Tips

Don't neglect residual energy.

  • Always assume the machine is on, and capable of spontaneous operation prior to cleaning or maintenance.
  • Locking out a switch or turning off the power doesn't guarantee safety.
  • You also need to bleed or release trapped air, gas, and chemicals; uncoil springs and block or lower raised loads and elevated machine parts.

Clear all personnel from the danger zone.

  • Verify lockout by attempting to operate the equipment.
  • Return all controls to the “off” or de-energized position.

The person who applies the lock and/or tag must also be the one who removes it.

  • The person who locks and/or tags should be named on the tag and must also have the date and time.

Before restarting, perform a thorough safety check.

  • Survey the scene to be sure all employees are a safe distance from the equipment.

Training is an ongoing responsibility.

  • All employees who perform or are affected by tagout procedures must receive training at least once each year
  • According to OSHA regulations, "every training program must ensure that all employees understand the purpose, function, and restrictions of the energy control program and that authorized employees possess the knowledge and skills necessary for the safe application, use, and removal of energy controls."
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