Best way to implement Lockout Tagout Program

November 13, 2019

A successful Lockout Tagout Program can only be implemented if we take Lockout Tagout seriously. It is not just for the sake of compliance formalities, that lockout should be followed. One needs to understand the importance of LOTO and their own safety. Follow the given steps and perform LOTO consistently and properly.

1: Evaluate and Plan
For successful implementation of Lockout Tagout, planning is the key. First evaluate your current situation, then prepare a written LOTO policy and implementation plan, describing all processes required for a successful hazardous energy control programme. The policy must describe responsibilities, training, isolation procedures, contractor control, LOTO devices, permits to work, audits, etc.
A planned system always works better!

2: Equipment Appraisal
Identify all the equipment requiring energy isolation during maintenance, cleaning or repair activities. Make a list of all the hazardous isolation points present, along with their magnitude & locations. Mention all the different types of hazardous energies present, not to forget the stored energies as well.

3: Machine Specific Procedures
Inadequate knowledge of isolation process can lead to big hazards & many lives could be affected by the resulted accidents. MSP helps to eliminate such possibilities of incidences by providing instruction in visual & written format. Drafting ECP/MSP helps define lockout device requirements for each equipment stepwise, taking care of all the types of hazardous energies.

4: Assessment of isolation devices
Once all the Hazardous energies have been identified, we need to assess the right kind of Lockout Tagout devices for the positive isolation of these energy points. One can seek professional help from the LOTO Expert or internal LOTO Champion can assess the requirement, if he is an expert in the field.

5: Procedure awareness & Training
To understand the importance and proper implementation of the LOTO program, it is crucial to have awareness about Lockout Tagout procedures. The majority of citations are a result of lack of proper lockout procedures, program documentation, periodic inspections, training or any other procedural element. To avoid injuries and fatalities that occur due to carelessness and non-compliance, organizations must develop and follow a proper LOTO SYSTEM with Lockout procedures, trainings, audits, responsibilities and accountabilities.

6: Implementation
A new lockout programme involves a workforce having to think and work in a new way, posing a challenge in terms of changing safety culture and mindset. Employee participation and proper understanding of the concept is therefore crucial during planning and implementation stages. Monitor behaviors, listen to the workforce and adapt the programme to ensure it is embraced successfully to meet all the corporate and legal requirements.

7: Review your program regularly
To ensure that energy control measures are adequate and being properly and consistently applied, a Lockout Tagout program must be reviewed periodically and revised if needed. Besides meeting the OSHA requirements, annual audits help companies insure that, they have the up-to-date and accurate devices & procedures that allow employees of the companies to safely de-energize equipment using the appropriate steps of disconnects.

Remember, LOTO is for your own safety!

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