Lock Out - Tag Out

Lock Out - Tag Out

Lockout tagout (LOTO) is a safety procedure that ensures that dangerous machinery and energy sources are properly shut off and are not started up unexpectedly while maintenance or service work is being completed. Activating the equipment or power source before these tasks are complete puts the person maintaining or servicing it at risk.

Energy sources that should be locked out during maintenance could be:

  • Electrical
  • Mechanical
  • Hydraulic
  • Pneumatic
  • Chemical
  • Radiation
  • Thermal

Lockout tagout procedures ensure that the hazardous power sources are isolated and rendered inoperative for a given period of time or simply until maintenance work is complete.

In most cases, a LOTO procedure involves two pieces of equipment:

  1. A lock that will be secured to the power source and prevent it from being switched on
  2. A tag affixed to the locked device that cautions others not to attempt to use it

When working with heavy machinery, it only takes a small accident or a bit of carelessness to lead to very serious injuries. That’s why implementing procedures is an essential part of any industrial programme.

But there’s more to it than just getting a set of locks and tags.  A good lockout programme needs to be carefully thought through.

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