Policy & Procedures

This is the most essential element that brings everything together & the actual lockout / tagout policy that is customized to meet the specific need of each industry. Its purpose is to ensure that the company has a consistent tool to reference as the program is updated and utilized throughout the year. This corporate policy offers guidance on training new employees, creating procedures for the new equipment, auditing schedule for the procedures and employees, responsibility of program owner, defining key terms and responsibilities & more.

Once the soft copy is discussed with the management and all the points are well agreed, We provide it in the form of a laminated hard copy - that is ready for immediate use within your facility. This helps the management to implement, and enforce an energy control program developed jointly.

For professional Lockout / Tagout Policy & Procedures for your premises please send request.

In December 2011, a man was crushed to death between two rotating augers while cleaning a machine used to make hummus. OSHA issued the food manufacturer more than $700,000 in fines in connection with his death, saying the employer knew specific energy-isolation procedures had to be followed and that workers had to be trained on lockout/tagout.

Control of Hazardous Energy or Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) is a program and set of procedures to disable equipment and protect workers from either the unexpected release of energy or the accidental startup while performing job activities. Despite the fact that this program is one of the most significant in preventing injury and saving lives, it is one of the most-violated OSHA standards.

    One thing you will find in many hazardous-energy failures like these examples is that the company may have adequate procedures in place for proper lockout/tagout, or management is aware of the need for this program, but chooses to ignore its importance.

    If specific procedures exist at the facility, they are often stuffed away in a binder that is collecting dust on a bookshelf. The true failure of this program lies in a lack of education for those who service or clean the equipment, and lack of inspection of the procedures against actual practices to make sure they are being carried out in the intended manner.

    You can not implement a LOTO program until specific lockout procedures are defined.

    Procedures become the backbone from which the training materials, hazard assessment, and safe practices are derived. Without specific LOTO procedures, there is no program!
    When it comes to creating a safety management program, consider a simple step-by-step approach:

    • Hazard Assessment : Identify all the risks and hazards to which employees are exposed as they work.
    • Create a Barrier or Develop Safe Operating Procedures : Eliminate all identified hazards. If you can’t eliminate the hazard, create a barrier or safe-operating practice to prevent employees from exposure to hazards and to help them avoid taking risks in the workplace.
    • Educate and Train Employees : You can achieve this by educating, informing, and training employees to recognize the risks, and use and respect the barrier or safe-operating practice so they can avoid exposure to hazards and avoid taking unnecessary risks. Essentially, detailed procedures, their intent, and the manner in which they must be used, complete the step-by-step approach to safety management. It seems simple when put in those terms. However, many companies are still failing to provide complete procedures that include all the risks, and others have done a good job of defining procedures, but not executing them in the plant setting. Not only is this a complete waste of time, it also creates unnecessary risk because the company didn’t use the procedures to inform employees of the safe practices needed to avoid hazard exposure.
    Developing specific lockout procedures allows us to identify the risks when working in the equipment-danger zone. This first step of the simple safety management process is to establish the initial approach to Lockout/Tagout. Keep in mind this is not the full lockout procedure required by OSHA, but the specific equipment lockout procedure must include:
    • Names of affected employees.
    • Types(s) and magnitude of energy.
    • Methods to control the energy.
    • Type(s) and location(s) of machine or equipment-operating controls.
    • Type(s) and location(s) of energy isolating devices.
    • Type(s) of stored energy and the method to dissipate or restrain energy.
    • Method of verifying isolation of the equipment.

    This begins the hazard assessment where all the different types of energy that power the machine have to be considered and included. This could include electrical energy, electrical energy in capacitors, stored energy created by hydraulics, pneumatics, gravity, springs, steam, etc.

    The procedure should include the level of voltage, the amount of stored pressure in the hydraulic system or air pressure, etc. The energy is the hazard that drives the machine and causes injury if unexpectedly released or engaged
    The next step is to identify the method used to control the identified energy. Energy may be controlled by disconnecting the energy source or switching a breaker. It may be isolated at a valve, or the equipment may be blocked so that it doesn’t fall due to the force of gravity. It could even involve taking a pipe apart and inserting a block. Regardless of the way that the energy is controlled, each and every method must be included in the LOTO procedure and the location of the energy-isolating devices should be specified for the person who will be performing lockout. Some companies include pictures in their procedures to identify the isolating device and indicate where it is located. This is a good practice, but not an official OSHA requirement.

    The next step is to identify forms of stored energy and to explain how to restrain the energy or dissipate it completely so that it no longer poses a threat. OSHA requires stored or residual energy (such as that in capacitors, springs, elevated machine members, rotating flywheels, hydraulic systems, and air, gas, steam, or water pressure, etc.) to be dissipated or restrained by methods such as grounding, repositioning, blocking, bleeding down, etc. The most common issue is that people often overlook stored energy as a hazard, when it is, in fact, a very real hazard that can result in serious injury if not addressed. The procedures may include instructions on how to physically bleed down hydraulic or pneumatic pressure or identify power gauge locations to shut off electrical power for systems that automatically dissipate stored energy.

    The last and arguably most important step is to test the machinery or equipment to make sure the risk of accidental startup has been eliminated. This requires the user to go to the control panel after lockout and try to start the equipment by turning the controls to “ON.” If the machine does not start or power up, the necessary steps have been taken to avoid risk. The purpose is to make sure that the person who has performed lockout has identified the correct energy-isolating devices and that the devices work properly to de-energize the equipment. A critical step to include in this part of the LOTO procedures is to turn the control switch back to “OFF” before servicing the equipment. Once this final step to the LOTO procedure is complete, work can be done on the machinery with the assurance that the risk has been isolated, preventing exposure to the hazard.
    Assessing hazards and developing LOTO procedures based on them is great, but if Step 3 of the simple safety plan is not completed, you are left with an ineffective approach to lockout and essentially a nonfunctioning program. Every company is accountable for informing its employees about the risks and hazards and educating them on how to avoid hazard exposure following the safe operating practices as prescribed.

    OSHA expects us to inspect the procedures we develop, and then review the procedures with employees who will be involved in lockout. These periodic inspections are required to be performed at least annually to verify that the procedures are adequate and being properly applied. The idea is that these periodic inspections will ensure that the employees involved are familiar with their responsibilities and that employees maintain proficiency in the energy-control procedures that they implement. As required, each inspection contains two components, including an inspection of each energy-control procedure and a review of each employee’s responsibilities under the energy control procedure being inspected.

    These periodic inspections must include a demonstration of the procedures and be done while the authorized employee performs service and maintenance on equipment. The inspector must be able to determine whether:
    • The steps in the energy control procedure are being followed;
    • The employees involved know their responsibilities under the procedure;
    • The procedure is adequate to provide the necessary protection, and, if inadequate, what modifications are needed.

    These inspections are documented to identify the machine or equipment in which the inspection was done, the date of the inspection, the employee involved in the inspection, and the person who performed the inspection. Documentation creates a reference for tracking behaviors, understanding, and comprehension. It provides a means to track improvement, not just in performance, but in the actual procedures themselves. The documentation becomes a measurement tool and a way to provide positive feedback and important education to employees. LOTO-procedure inspections create avenue for on-the-floor training and education while employees are performing the very tasks they need to perfect. These inspections often become the most effective work place training sessions because the pupils are engaged and focused. Procedures and inspections are the heart of the OSHA Lockout/Tagout standard. Comprehensive, specific procedures and the inspection process combine as the cornerstone of this regulation, which is so very critical to the safety and the lives of our employees.

    Despite the fact that Lockout / Tagout is one of the most significant programs in preventing injury and saving lives, it is one of the most - violated OSHA standards.

    For details and assistance regarding the preparing Lockout / Tagout Policies and Procedures for your organization:

    Please contact Ms. Lakshmi at 0091 8800 18 7868
    or e-mail at : lockoutt@gmail.com

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