Do you know that your workplace is actually one of the most dangerous locations you are in? This is true, especially for those who work in particular industries that are exposed to chemicals, machines, and electrical hazards. To protect their workers, employees follow a standard procedure in controlling hazardous energy, known as lockout/tagout. It is part of the CFR or Code of Federal Regulations under OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), thus all companies, whatever product they produce or manufacture, are required to conform to this standard. Undergoing a comprehensive lock out tag out training is vital in order to understand its underlying principles and best practices. This article will present some of OSHA guidelines and best practices when it comes to lock out tag out training.
- It is the responsibility of the employer to train employees, regardless of whether they have already had training. The training should include all important information about hazardous energy, how to isolate and control it, what they should and should not do while machines are being repaired, explanations about maintenance, exceptions to the policy, as well as their responsibilities as employees. For instance, it is their responsibility to untag the lock and tag themselves, thus it is not allowed to let other people do it. Some site policies are already implemented and everyone in the industry is required to comply with it.
- Employers also need to implement and develop an energy control program. It should be enforced effectively for everyone’s safety. All employers, especially those involved in handling machines need to understand the guidelines of the energy control program. They should be informed of its purpose, as some employees may take this procedure for granted if they do not understand what’s in it for them. Those who are not directly affected by this policy should still be given training to understand guidelines of the energy control program. For instance, they should know that they must not remove a tag in a machine, as they are not authorized to do that. Doing so would mean bypassing the authorized people and it could cause hazard to them as well.
- Retraining is also required to refresh the employees’ understanding and to make them more proficient in energy controlling procedures. It is also important to keep them updated of new energy control methods, which must be included in the lock out tag out training and retraining program.
- As mentioned earlier, there are site policies that have been officially implemented. One policy states that unauthorized people are not allowed to untag or unlock a machine that is ready for service. If an employee happens to leave the workplace without untagging the device, he is still not allowed to give his permission to other people over the phone. He is then required to go back to untag the device on the machine himself. For this reasons, companies in US use locks and tags that bear the name of the user. Others use codes to identify the owner of the tag. However, this policy is not required in all countries, including Europe.
Use LOTOBuilder to improve and assist your lock out tag out training program.