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What You Need To Know About Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) Procedures If You Inspect Or Maintain Industrial Machinery Or Heavy Equipment As Part Of Your Job (Part A)

If your job requires you to regularly service, inspect or maintain industrial machinery or heavy equipment in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, then you are at risk of sustaining a workplace injury. 

Workers who regularly service industrial machines, such as power presses or sorters face the risk of machines starting or operating inadvertently when the machines should be off.  As a result, workers sustain amputation injuries or even die as a result. 

The way to protect workers from these types of injuries when servicing or cleaning the machines is to have the lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedures in place to ensure the workers' safety.

What Are Lockout/Tagout Procedures?

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets the standard for lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedures in 29 CFR 1910.127 (c), which provides:

(1) Energy control program. The employer shall establish a program consisting of energy control procedures, employee training and periodic inspections to ensure that before any employee performs any servicing or maintenance on a machine or equipment where the unexpected energizing, startup or release of stored energy could occur and cause injury, the machine or equipment shall be isolated from the energy source and rendered inoperative.

(2) Lockout/tagout(i) If an energy isolating device is not capable of being locked out, the employer's energy control program under paragraph (c)(1) of this section shall utilize a tagout system.  (ii) If an energy isolating device is capable of being locked out, the employer's energy control program under paragraph (c)(1) of this section shall utilize lockout, unless the employer can demonstrate that the utilization of a tagout system will provide full employee protection as set forth in paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

OSHA defines "tagout device" as follows:

The placement of a tagout device on an energy isolating device, in accordance with an established procedure, to indicate that the energy isolating device and the equipment being controlled may not be operated until the tagout device is removed.

Click here to read Part B of this article which discusses how LOTO procedures should be applied at workplaces with industrial machinery or heavy equipment.

Related Workplace Accident Articles About LOTO Procedures

*Published: 11-22-12

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