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What are the Requirements for Safety Lockout / Tagout Devices?

OSHA approved loto device

The best way to protect your craft workers, machine operators, and laborers from serious physical harm, and potential death, is to ensure the hazardous energy they’re working with is properly controlled and locked out with a safety lockout device.

OSHA has created the Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout) 29 CFR 1910  standards to help prevent serious accidents from occurring due to accidental start-ups.  The practices and procedures highlighted by OSHA require safety lockout/tagout devices to disable machinery or equipment in order to prevent the hazardous release of an energy source while performing service or maintenance.

Before asking your workers to service equipment or machinery, ensure they have the appropriate safety lockout devices to properly control the hazardous energy.  Provide all authorized employees with the knowledge and skills they need to safely perform their job.

Below are a few steps required by OSHA:

  • Make sure your lockout device is durable. Lockout/tagout devices must not deteriorate or become illegible even when used with corrosive components such as acid, alkali chemicals, or in wet environments.
  • Standardization is important. Lockout/tagout procedures color, shape, or size must be standardized according to print and format and must be legible and understandable by all employees. They must warn employees about the hazards if the machine is energized, and offer employees clear instructions such as: “Do Not Start,” “Do Not Open,” “Do Not Close,” “Do Not Energize,” or “Do Not Operate.”
  • Device needs to be substantial. Employees should be able to remove locks only by using excessive force with special tools such as bolt cutters or other metal-cutting equipment. Tag attachments must be non-reusable, self-locking, and non-releasable, with a minimum unlocking strength of 50 lbs. Tags must be attachable by hand, and need to withstand all environments and conditions.
  • Don’t forget to label. Label all lockout/tagout to identify the specific employees authorized to apply and remove them

For more information about the Control of Hazardous Energy Lockout/Tagout standard read: Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout) 29 CFR 1910.

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