Please STOP! Do not skip Lockout Tagout before maintenance

Do not skip Lockout Tagout before maintenance | E-Square Blog

May 20, 2020

It is widely believed that employees are a company’s most valuable assets. Yet in the course of meeting customer demands and managing unpredictable daily operations, many businesses overlook the importance of having a thoughtful workplace safety program in place to protect their most valuable assets.

At its core, workplace safety is about employers caring about their people and employees caring about their own safety and the safety of others. It’s about doing the right thing and protecting the people who are integral to the long-term success of an organization. The most important for your employees and their loved ones is workplace safety, and employers have an immense responsibility to ensure that their personal safety is secured while on the job.

Taking a strategic approach to workplace safety not only helps make the workplace safer for employees, it also results in operational and cost benefits for the business. As a result, workers’ compensation costs decrease, fewer overtime costs or economic sanctions accrue, productivity increases, and improvements are made in regulatory compliance, employee retention, and employee/management relations.

Despite elaborate recommendations and audits, fatalities still continue to occur, and their severities range from mild shocks and missing fingers to lost lives. According to OSHA, compliance with the lockout tagout standard prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year.When It comes to workplace maintenance accidents, ‘Even One Is Too Many.’It takes less than half a second for something to go wrong and a worker’s life might change forever.

Workers who service industrial machinery and equipment face unique hazards due to their close contact with equipment, frequently working in dangerous zones beyond machine guards that protect workers during normal production operations. Consequently, special procedures such as Lockout Tagout are necessary to protect workers during maintenance and servicing.

Unfortunately, safety is one of the first to be overlooked when trying to save on budgets in companies. While it may seem as though your business is saving money by removing safety training, it could instead be costing you more, over time. Employees who are not competent and sufficiently trained are far more susceptible to accidents, which could eventually put them out of work.

LOTO acts as a life saving device, making sure that every individual, irrespective of the company they work in, reaches home safely, works with confidence and sense of security. Therefore, it is equally important for the staff, shop floor workers and employees to strictly follow the lockout procedures and processes to prevent any accidental damage.

Even if the job requires only few minutes, Lockout!
Performing Lockout Tagout is mandatory for each and every one while maintenance or servicing of machines in the plant. Overtime employees become complacent and ignore the essential steps of Lockout Tagout.

It is due to lack of safety culture and lack of knowledge that leads to uncalled eventualities. Even few seconds of carelessness can cost a person his/her life!

Managers and supervisors should demonstrate their responsibility for safety and health by becoming familiar with the LOTO responsibilities and activities of all personnel reporting to them and providing support in any way required; providing maximum support to all programs and committees whose function is to further the cause of safety and health in the workplace; assisting all personnel to develop safety skills and knowledge, providing rules and procedures to guide the safe conduct of employees, and personally following the safety rules; and providing a system of recognition for successful LOTO performance.

Skipping even one step while performing Lockout Tagout can lead to a massive accident:
Every employee is burdened with targets and work commitments to be accomplished. With such busy schedules, they often tend to make mistakes. LOTO is vital for the safety of the employees, and therefore cannot be ignored at any cost. It is imperative to follow the Lockout Tagout procedure carefully to avoid any injury or fatality.

Create a Safe Work Culture:
The most important prerequisite for any safety program to run effectively, is the company culture. With the right company culture, the safety program will be perceived as a guide, and not a hindrance.

Ensuring safety and security of the employees at all times is amongst the greatest responsibilities of any employer and this responsibility increases many folds when employees are servicing or maintaining machines and equipment that put them at the risk of physical harm or even death, if tasks are not handled or controlled properly.

When employers and their employees all see safety as a priority, the workplace will be much safer. Therefore, it is significant to have a culture that promotes safety and well-being of every individual working in an organisation.

Strict Compliance:
Compliance is an absolute must in order to run a safe and effective business, employers need to document standards that require strict implementation and also enforce an energy control program to spread awareness among the employees. Stringent actions should be taken for those who fail to comply with the set safety standards.

The moment you feel that the machine is unsafe, STOP! Anything that looks dangerous to you, can probably be. You need not risk your life to get a job done. No matter how urgent the work is - STOP, THINK, VERIFY, REASSURE that it is safe, and then go ahead! Carry out proper risk assessments before carrying out any tasks and make sure to bring the associated risks levels as low as reasonably practicable. Remember, one careless step taken by you can affect you, your loved ones and people around you.

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