Why is using a Lockout Tagout procedure and kit important?

To guarantee the OSHA standard safely is effectively being followed for The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout), Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 1910.147, addressing the practices and procedures necessary to disable machinery or equipment, thereby preventing the release of hazardous energy while employees perform service and maintenance.

Some of the most critical requirements from these standards are outlined below:

  • Use lockout devices for equipment that can be locked out. Tagout devices may be used in lieu of lockout devices only if the tagout program provides employee protection equivalent to that provided through a lockout program.
  • Develop, implement, and enforce an effective tagout program if machines or equipment are not capable of being locked out.
  • Document, implement, and enforce energy control procedures. Document with photos as well.
  • Use only lockout/tagout devices authorized for the equipment or machinery and ensure that they are durable, and standardized.
  • Ensure that lockout/tagout devices identify the individual users that placed it.

What must workers do before they begin service or maintenance activities? Before beginning service or maintenance, the following steps must be accomplished in sequence and according to the specific provisions of the employer’s energy-control procedure:

  • Prepare for shutdown.
  • Shut down the machine.
  • Disconnect or isolate the machine from the energy source(s).
  • Apply the lockout or tagout device(s) to the energy-isolating device(s).
  • Release, restrain, or otherwise render safe all potential hazardous stored or residual energy. If a possibility exists for reaccumulating of hazardous energy, regularly verify during the service and maintenance that such energy has not reaccumulated to hazardous levels.
  • Verify the isolation and de-energization of the machine.

Before removing lockout or tagout devices, the employees must take the following steps in accordance with the specific provisions of the employer’s energy-control procedure:

  • Inspect machines or their components to assure that they are operationally intact and that nonessential items are removed from the area.
  • Check to assure that everyone is positioned safely and away from machines.

After removing the lockout or tagout devices but before reenergizing the machine, the crew must assure that all employees who operate or work with the machine, as well as those in the area where service or maintenance is performed, know that the devices have been removed and that the machine is capable of being reenergized.