Lockout or Tagged out... Ask yourself!

Lockout or Tagged out | E-Square Alliance

April 21, 2020

‘God gave us the gift of life, it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living it well.’ We all have one life to live and it is definitely up to us how we mould it, protect it and live it.

Never take life for granted, not everyone is blessed to have a family and loved ones around. Therefore, it becomes our duty to take good care of ourselves whilst at work and of others who might be affected by our work.

As all machines and equipment deteriorate over their lifespan, machines are required to be maintained, repaired and cleaned to optimize production. 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 manufacturing operations. Machine-related injuries or fatalities can occur during maintenance and servicing tasks when workers are exposed to an uncontrolled release of energy or during unexpected equipment start-up. Consequently, special procedures are necessary to protect workers during maintenance and servicing.

Lockout/Tagout is the practice of shutting down and disconnecting power from machinery or equipment and placing locks and warning tags on energy-isolating devices to prevent activation of the machine or equipment during maintenance or servicing [OSHA, 2002].

Approximately 3 million workers service equipment and face the risk of injury if LOTO is not performed. An estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries occur each year from exposure to hazardous energy. Plant accidents involving machinery can be devastating to personnel and the company's bottom line.

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.

Continued failure to use appropriate LOTO practices will eventually lead one towards the mortuary, where each dead body is tagged to follow the standard precautions for handling and disposal of dead bodies. The tags used in mortuaries are referenced in the above title, to focus on the fact that if lockout methods and tags are not used appropriately and at the correct timing, they will be later used for unfortunate incidences.

We are ourselves responsible for the consequences that occur if we do not take Lockout Tagout seriously. It is we to choose whether we Lockout and Tagout the equipment and work risk-free, or we risk our lives by servicing the equipment without using Lockout Tagout which might result in eventually being Taggedout!

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.

Our life is our responsibility, embrace it.

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