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6 Pivotal Facts About Lockout Tagout

dateJanuary 05, 2021

Servicing and maintenance are integral components of everyday operations in numerous workplaces. This makes the implementation of Lockout Tagout (LOTO) procedures all the more imperative. While the LOTO standard is designed to prevent injuries and fatalities stemming from hazardous energy releases, mishaps persistently occur. To avert these, a deeper understanding and appreciation of LOTO are crucial.

Here's a closer look at six cardinal facts that underscore the importance of LOTO:

  1. Lockout Tagout is One of the Most Cited OSHA Violation
    In 2019, LOTO-related violations claimed the top spot for OSHA violations within the manufacturing sector, and ranked fifth across all industries. Despite the clear dangers and the vigilant oversight by OSHA, many still perceive LOTO as burdensome, productivity-hampering procedure. Yet, organizations that overlook machine-related hazards not only face regulatory penalties but also risk catastrophic events that can exact a heavy toll.
  2. Lockout Tagout protects everyone in the facility - It saves lives
    The consequences of LOTO-related oversights can be dire, often resulting in severe or fatal injuries. The implications of ignoring LOTO are simply too great. Ensuring that LOTO procedures are diligently adhered to before maintenance or servicing is more than just a best practice—it's a life-saving endeavour. LOTO not only guarantees the safety of workers but also fortifies trust, bolsters morale, and ensures every staff member concludes their day without harm and reaches home safely.
  3. LOTO Avoids Unexpected Startup or Release of Stored Energy
    Machines that are improperly shut down can unintentionally reactivate before the maintenance tasks conclude. Such unexpected startups or sudden releases of residual energy can cause disaster. Disconnecting main energy conduits can mitigate much of this threat, but potential latent energy sources must also be addressed. Ensuring equipment remains entirely deactivated during maintenance is paramount.
  4. LOTO Reduces Cost, Boost Morale and Increases Productivity
    Beyond the obvious safety perks, LOTO offers tangible economic benefits. Ignoring LOTO can lead to numerous hidden costs - from legal ramifications and tarnished brand reputation to operational downtimes and increased insurance premiums. On the other hand, rigorous LOTO practices enhance worker confidence, fortify trust, and can even bolster operational efficiency.
  5. Periodic Trainings Help Employees in Safe Isolation
    Training is a key mechanism for effectual LOTO implementation. Equipping staff with the knowledge and skills to correctly employ LOTO devices and follow energy control procedures is vital. This not only instils in them the procedural nuances but also imparts the underlying rationale, fostering a culture of ownership and vigilance. Periodic refresher sessions ensure continued proficiency and adaptation to any evolving challenges or equipment changes.
  6. Reviews & Audits are Must for Successful LOTO Implementation.
    Annual audits aren't mere regulatory hoops to jump through; they're invaluable diagnostic tools. They enable organizations to ensure their LOTO procedures remain cutting-edge and fully aligned with the latest safety standards. Periodic reviews and necessary revisions guarantee that energy control protocols remain robust and effective.

Safety isn't a passive objective - it demands proactive measures and continual refinement. Ensuring rigorous adherence to LOTO, in line with OSHA's Standard 1910.147, is both a regulatory mandate and a moral imperative. Remember, the responsibility for a safe workplace lies with each one of us. Embrace LOTO, not just as a protocol, but as a beacon guiding towards a safer future.

E-Square Compliance and Education Division
About the Author

E-Square Compliance and Education Division

A team of safety professionals and educators united to enhance workplace safety with essential Lockout Tagout knowledge. We offer expertise to foster safety compliance and effective LOTO protocols across industries.

E-Square Blog: Expert Analysis and Best Practices for Isolation Safety

The E-Square blog features advice, information and support on everything related to Lockout Tagout, including best practices, industry news, latest innovations and regulatory updates.

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