A large percentage of accidents in the manufacturing industry occur due to failure to lockout/tagout (LOTO) machinery. The three million workers that service manufacturing equipment every year are at great risk if your organization doesn’t develop and follow LOTO procedures. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has developed industry standards that must be followed to control hazardous energy. These LOTO standards prevent an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries in the manufacturing industry each year.
LOTO procedures prevent unauthorized starting of machinery that could cause injury to workers.
Under Title 29 CFR, Part 1910.147 OSHA mandates minimum performance requirements for the control of hazardous energy. Under this standard, any employee that is “required to place any part of his or her body into an area on a machine or piece of equipment where work is actually performed upon the material being processed” must bypass a guard or remove a safety lock before doing so.
LOTO procedures hold employees accountable.
Both locks and tags must be able to identify the employee who applied the device. This allows the organization to hold employees accountable to following LOTO procedures. It also provides positive identification as to who was last servicing the machinery or equipment in the event that an injury does occur. Knowing who touched the machinery is a critical piece of an accident investigation. In a multiple LOTO situation, you can also identify if an employee didn’t finish working.
LOTO ensures proper training on machinery.
Under OSHA, all employees working in an area requiring LOTO procedures must be trained on the recognition of devices and the importance of only using them when authorized. Training must occur whenever there is a change in job assignment, new employee, upgrade of machinery or equipment, or energy control change. During training employees will practice unlocking, using and re-locking and tagging out equipment. Employees should be tested on these procedures as part of an annual inspection.
LOTO fosters collaboration.
When outside personnel, such as contractors, are on your job site, both parties must inform one another of their LOTO procedures. It is the on-site employer’s responsibility to ensure that their employees comply with the procedures of both parties. This prevents accidents from happening due to a misunderstanding of each other’s standard practices.
Make sure your organization follows lockout/tagout procedures to prevent injury or loss of your employees. Workers injured on the job due to accidents that could have been prevented by LOTO miss an average of 24 workdays for recovery. For more information on OSHA lockout/tagout requirements, visit osha.gov.
If you’re looking for employees skilled in lockout/tagout procedures to fill your engineering and manufacturing positions, Contact the Staffing Professionals at MAC Incorporated for help today. MAC Maintenance is one of the leading providers of reliable personnel involved in the operation of equipment and machinery.