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Choose Lockout or Get Tagged-out: The Critical Choice

dateNovember 15, 2022

Life is an invaluable gift, a one-time opportunity to experience the wonders of existence. Its sanctity and value can never be overstated. While we must pursue our ambitions and carve our paths, it is paramount that we do so without jeopardizing our well-being or that of others around us.

Workplaces, especially those in the industrial sector, are environments riddled with potent machinery. These machines, while essential, undergo wear and tear over time, necessitating maintenance and repairs. The process may seem straightforward, but it isn't devoid of risks. Workers often find themselves navigating dangerous zones, places where even the slightest oversight could lead to tragic outcomes.

Enter the concept of "Lockout/Tagout" (LOTO). This essential safety procedure involves disconnecting machinery power and placing locks and warning tags on energy-isolating devices, ensuring the machine remains inactive during its servicing. This might sound simple, yet the stark reality paints a different picture.

Failure to implement lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedures adversely affects the rate of work- related fatalities and serious traumatic injury and is one of the most frequently cited Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards. This standard remains to be OSHA’s fifth most violated standard for the past 6 years (2013-2019).

A review of lockout tagout related fatalities investigated under the NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation program identified three main contributing factors for these incidents:

(1) Failure to de-energize, block, or dissipate energy sources (82% of incidents)

(2) Failure to lockout and tagout energy isolation devices after de-energization (11%)

(3) Failure to verify that equipment was de-energized before beginning work (7%)

Surveillance and case study data demonstrate that a failure to follow LOTO practices is an ongoing cause of occupational fatalities and serious traumatic injuries.

The gravity of these oversights can be epitomized by drawing a chilling parallel. If safety measures are not observed timely, the very tags intended for machinery might find their way to the deceased in mortuaries. This grim analogy underscores the vital need for vigilance, and that the difference between 'life' and being 'tagged out' can sometimes be a mere safety procedure.

Responsibility lies with us. The decisions we make regarding LOTO don't merely impact our immediate safety but resonate with our overall life's trajectory. Opting for lockout and tagout means prioritizing safety and well-being, while neglecting it has irrevocably devastating consequences.

E-Square has an ongoing commitment to improving industrial safety through our high quality lockout tagout devices and programmes, resulting in both immediate and long term positive changes.

In the end, the essence of life hinges on the choices we make. Our plea is simple: treasure the gift of life and safeguard it with the diligence it truly deserves.

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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