Lockout Store Blog

Lockout/Tagout Information and Supplies

  • Failure To Lockout/Tagout Leads To Costly Losses

    lockout tagoutWhile many might think of lockout and ragout procedures as something that's not necessary or only necessary in certain situations, we can assure you that it is necessary procedure for maintaining not only a safe workplace, but a successful business.
     
    Failing to incorporate proper lockout procedure could lead to personal injury, it could also lead to additional problems, mainly financial, even if nobody is injured.
     
    Receiving a fine from OSHA could be one problematic and costly effect of failure to lockout in the workplace, but some people seem to think that OSHA isn't going to show up. Or that there's no use in performing lockout/tagout because of one reason or another that someone might justify. However, consider that there are other aspects unrelated to OSHA and personal injury that could end up costing a large sum, or possibly even your business. What might it be? Insurance; and we're not talking about health insurance.
     
    Nowadays, we know that insurance companies will often send investigators on site to inspect not only damages, but the root cause of the problem behind an insurance claim - and if something doesn't add up, don't expect to be compensated for any losses. It's common practice for insurance companies to protect their investment and best interests and to only pay out when deserved. Of course, if they find that the cause of the damage was the result of avoiding or failing to follow certain mandated safety procedures, they'll be denying the insurance claim quite easily.
     
    For example, let's say that routine maintenance is being done on a production facility and part of that maintenance requires that certain power sources be locked out. Someone decides that they don't need to perform lockout during this maintenance, and something unexpected happens, leading to a large fire that destroys the facility or parts of the facility. If the insurance company can say that the damage was caused as a result of failing to lockout, they will not be reimbursing for the damages, which could cause a serious financial burden or even a complete loss of business.
     
    Accidents happen, and they happen everyday. That's one of the main reasons we have insurance. But, when those accidents happen because of neglect, there is no guarantee, nor is their a obligation, for your insurance company to reimburse you financially.
     
    While we're not trying to use fear here, we're hoping to make it clear that this is just one of the many reasons that lockout is an important factor to a safe and prosperous workplace and business. Not only does it help to ensure that workers will go home safely and without personal injury, it also helps to ensure that the business will progress forward without financial injury.
     
    Whether you're an employee or an employer, do the right thing and follow proper procedures for lockout in your business or place of work. While it make take a few extra minutes, it can save a life; or even many lives.

  • Lack of Lockout Leads to Serious Injury

    lockout tagout injuryWhere workplace safety is concerned, lockout and tagout play a much larger role than one might assume.
     
    While the decision not to perform a lockout/tagout under a given circumstance might seem minor under many circumstances, the resulting risk of injury can often be much more serious than the average workplace injury. This is generally due to the hazards presented by the type of equipment that requires lockout. For example, a properly functioning piece of large industrial equipment can easily cause injuries such as electrocution, dismemberment, severe burns and the like. Naturally, a broken or malfunctioning piece of equipment poses a greatly increased risk of injury - especially if it hasn't been properly locked and tagged out.
     
    During the 10 years between 2003 and 2013, there were 28 death in the United States directly attributed to procedural failures of lockout/tagout. That doesn't include the thousands of related injuries either. OSHA has even stepped forward to announce that the most commonly cited violation for 2013 and 2014 was for failure to meet lockout/tagout standards - a rather alarming fact that cost employers more than $894,000 in fines.
     
    In many industries, worker activity determines the profit. In other words, the more product that can be manufactured or processed, the better. While workers might be expected to maintain a rapid pace in many situations, this pressure to perform can often negate proper safety procedure. From one aspect, a worker who is working to fast might be more likely to slip-up and have an accident due to the rapid pace - and from another perspective, ensuring the job is done safely and properly might mean it takes longer; something management might frown upon.
     
    A piece of equipment that is being operated at a dangerous pace surely poses an increased risk for injury, just as a machine that isn't routinely maintained is more likely to malfunction. Under normal lockout/tagout procedure, complete systems may need to be shut down which affects the ability to produce and can often be time consuming. Sometimes locking out a specific piece of equipment can even mean that other functional equipment in the vicinity is also rendered inoperable, even if it's functioning perfectly. Many times employers and/or management are willing to take the risks in order to keep number up and likewise, employees are willing to follow the orders of management in order to keep their jobs.
     
    Lockout/tagout applies to such a broad array of equipment and systems that there really is no easy answer or a catch-all solution to reduce injury rates. From electric boxes and systems to steam pipes, chemical systems, production line equipment, high pressure pumps and vales, and even nuclear facilities. The situations are all vastly different and that's why it is important to do the right thing - always follow the proper lockout procedure.
     
    Not only will lockout/tagout save lives and prevent injury, it also saves money in the long run. Accidents can be costly, and one has to consider that it's not just damage to people that you should be worried about - damage to equipment can also be very costly. All standards that have been set into place by OSHA in regards to Lockout/Tagout are aimed at protecting workers, preventing disaster and safeguarding employers against liability. If a major accident occurs and something is locked out properly, it can legitimately be considered an accident. But if failure to comply with lockout procedure is the cause of the incident, it's not really an accident and could have been prevented.
     
    Help prevent serious injury to yourself and others in the workplace by insisting on following the proper lockout procedure no matter what. You don't want to suffer the aftermath of an unfortunate injury or death due to the fact that corners were cut.
     
    Talk with co-workers, management, employers and/or employees and devise a plan to ensure that lockout is always performed, correctly and without delay when necessary.

  • Lookout for Lockout - Stay Safe by Practicing Lockout & Tagout on the Job!

    lockout tagoutDepending where your place of business or employment is, you may or may not be familiar with the Lockout/Tagout process. Locking out (lockout) and tagging out (tagout) is part of a safety process that's often called lockout-tagout. Most commonly used in industrial settings, this is the process of disabling and securing a machine or piece of equipment prior to cleaning, maintenance or repair. The whole purpose of the lockout procedure is to ensure there is no power, no residual energy being stored and no moving parts that could cause an emergency situation such as fire, electric shock, personal injury or even death.
     
    Locking out applies to practically any device, mechanism, machine, or piece of equipment that produces energy or uses energy to operate. This includes a vast array of industrial equipment which is far too long to list here. However, to familiarize yourself with the type of equipment that would require lockout we'll mention some of the more common ones, such as:
     
    • Drilling Presses, Brake Presses, Saws, Lathes and other equipment designed to cut, bend or modify heavy materials.
    • Mixers, Shredders, Blenders, Sorting Machines, Cleaning Tanks, Ovens, Compactors, Incinerators and other equipment that get filled with material.
    •Piping systems, cabling systems, any equipment under water or steam pressure, hydraulic equipment & lines, hazardous chemical piping, electrical equipment, power systems, fuse boxes, electronic switching systems and furnaces/boilers.
    •Forklifts, Front Loaders, Excavators, Steam Rollers, Cranes, and all sorts of other motor vehicles.
     
    If a piece of machinery can pose a risk to those who might try and use it, then it needs to be effectively locked out until it's been repaired. Additionally, mechanically sound equipment should be locked out during maintenance to prevent accidental or unexpected use during maintenance.
     
    The graphic below is a safety sheet that reminds people about the need for lockout & ragout. Click the image to reveal it in its full size to make a printable reminder to hang in the office, shop or near potentially hazardous equipment.
     

     
    While there are all different types of lockout/tagout situations, there are also plenty of products to make the lockout process go smoothly - even for specialized equipment. Stay tuned to our blog and check out our past posts to learn more about the lockout & ragout process. Also, feel free to ask us about anything you'd like to see covered in our blog.

  • Be Safe & Be Smart. Lock It Out!

    lockout tagout procedureIf you work in the trades or in an industrial setting, chances are you're familiar with the lockout/tagout process. It's a critical factor for protection from injury and death and some of you utilize the process on a daily basis. Others, although they should, do not perform lockout. Often, this happens in smaller job sites or smaller shops where there isn't as much concern about accidents due to a lower number of employees or less equipment and machinery. However, even in the most unlikely situations, accidents can (and do) happen. Every single day people are injured from equipment and machinery - many of which could be prevented.
     
    Even if you own a small machine shop, it's important to protect yourself, your employes and any visitors from the potential dangers that can arise from equipment that hasn't been properly locked & tagged out. Never assume that something "will be fine like that" or that "nobody's going to touch it" and always expect the unexpected. Failure to secure equipment can result in damaged equipment, serious injury and even death - which in turn can lead to legal problems, loss of revenue and decreased productivity.
     
    Even if you're convinced to do the right thing and begin to utilize the lockout process, where do you start? That's a good question. Depending on what type of equipment & machinery you work with there could be several answers. From locks, hasps and tags to plug and gate valve lockouts, it can be a little confusing. It might be a good idea to begin with some lockout training. This can be done as easily as researching the subject online. Additionally, you can order lockout identification & training materials such as books, DVD's, manuals, etc. which are especially handy for teaching employees and having a high-quality resource on hand at all times.
     
    One of the best ways to ensure you're prepared for any lockout situation is with a lockout kit. These kits are versatile, packed with useful items necessary for performing lockout/tagout in various situations, and they're economical. The kits are also usually self-contained so they can easily be transported around the building or between job sites. If you begin to run low on certain lockout items or realize that you have a preference for certain items over others, you can always purchase more products individually to add to your kit. Some kits are even designed to cater to specific industries and are loaded with the most relevant lockout & ragout products.
     
    Don't delay, learn more today. You can't afford to wait for an accident to happen before you decide it's time to take action.

  • Lockout/Tagout Failures: Proper Procedure is Just the Begining

    When it's time to lockout and tagout, it's not only proper procedure that you should be concerned about. While following the exact protocol for a safe and 100% effective lockout is critical to your well being and the well being of others, there's more that needs to be considered.
     
    So you've powered down some machinery, relieved a large system of piping or disabled a production line. You've followed typical protocol and begin to perform the designated service or maintenance to the equipment. But suddenly, something doesn't go as planned. You followed the lockout procedure, you took each step carefully just like you always do, yet you're finding yourself in a deadly situation and your life is flashing before your eyes. How could this be happening???
     
    One thing that is often overlooked and has led to many accidents and injuries including fatal ones, is that although the lockout ragout procedure is performed flawlessly, the procedure is developed assuming that everything is as it should be - meaning everything is powered, connected and operational only in the manner that it's intended to be. Lockout/tagout procedures are developed specifically to prevent accidents and injury but they don't account for modification, manipulation or alteration to equipment.
     
    In the following two videos, you're going to learn about two fatal accidents that happened. At least partially, these fatalities can be attributed to the fact that the equipment being worked on was not as it seemed and had been altered or modified, or contained incorrect information or schematics. Check out these videos and always prepare for a worst-case scenario. Think ahead.. And, use your head. Lockout/tagout failures happen, so preparing for the unexpected by taking certain precautions just might save your life - even if you think you're doing everything correctly.
     
    High Pressure/Temperature Steam Release During Engine Room Repair

     
    Electrical Panel Repair Results in Electrocution

  • Performing Lockout & Tagout: The Proper Way

    proper steps for lockout tagoutThe lockout and tagout process for equipment isn't 100% effective unless it's performed 100% correctly. There is no room for error in a procedure that is meant to prevent accidents and ensure safety. While it might be a seemingly simple process, the steps listed below need to be taken very seriously, in exact order and without skipping or ignoring a single step. This will ensure an effective procedure that will minimize any threats or hazards.
     
    1. Notify Employees
    It is critical, aside from signage, to notify all employees of a machine or system that is going to be under lockout/tagout. Employees must understand that the machine, or equipment is non-operational and may not be used in any fashion until it has been repaired or maintained and is fully restored to it's normal functioning state.
     
    2. Identify the Energy Type
    An authorized specialist or designated service person should identify the energy type of the item that is being locked/tagged out. They should also have a containment plan in place should there be a breach. The plan should also include the possible magnitude of the breach.
     
    3. Disable the Equipment
    If the equipment is functional or dysfunctional and running, the authorized service person should determine how to properly and effectively bring the equipment to a stop
     
    4. Deactivate and Isolate
    Once the equipment is shut down or has been brought to a safe stop, it must be isolated and/or separated from it's energy source. This will avoid and completely prevent any accidental or unintentional functioning of the equipment.
     
    5. Use Lockout Tags
    Once stopped, shut down and disconnected from it's energy source, the equipment should be locked out and tagged out with the proper tags and locks. This indicates that the equipment is not functional and should not be used.
     
    6. Release Residual Energy
    Any sort of stored energy or residual energy must be relieved from the equipment. This ensures that any energy built up within the equipment is drained and poses no threat. An unexpected release of stored energy could cause serious or fatal injury and this step should be of serious concern for the lockout/tagout procedure. Stored or residual energy could include springs, capacitors, hydraulics, flywheels, magnetics, compressed air/water/gas and steam.
     
    7. Verify Energy Disconnection
    Verify that the equipment has been fully disconnected and in no way, shape or form connected to any source of energy, nor does it contain any residual energy. Before verification of disconnect, the equipment should be in isolation. With no employees or bystanders in the area of the equipment, the authorized lockout/tagout personnel should verify the proper disconnection by attempting to turn on the equipment. If it doesn't power on, it has been properly prepared for maintenance. Be sure to return the equipment to its "off" position after verification.
     
    8. Lockout Accomplished
    Once the 7 steps above have been properly executed, the equipment is deemed to be in full and proper lockout. Service, maintain or repair as needed and be sure to utilize proper PPE practices.
     
    There you have it! When it comes to hazards, it's always better to be safe than sorry. Print out the list above and place it in a visible place, or make copies for distribution whenever lockout is required. For a complete inventory of high quality lockout & ragout products, visit www.LockoutStore.com today to ensure you have the right products for the job.

  • Lockout-Tagout: What is it and why is it so important?

    lockout tagout procedureIf you've ever been employed in a position where the use of potentially hazardous equipment or machinery is involved, you might be familiar with the safety precaution referred to as "Lockout/Tagout". It's a procedure that's been put into place and enforced by OSHA in an effort to prevent accidents, injury and death in the workplace. As the name implies, the lockout-tagout procedure involves the locking and tagging of equipment in order to prevent accidental or unintentional use.
     
    In one situation, the lockout procedure might prevent a single component of a larger system from being used, such as a specific stretch of piping in a factory or power plant. In other situations, lockout will completely prevent use of a piece of equipment by literally restricting access to the energy source, power switch or other controls via specialized locks that are strategically placed exactly for this purpose.
     
    Most commonly, lockout and tagout procedures are performed when equipment is being repaired, cleaned or inspected. Regardless of the situation, the general idea is to render the equipment temporarily unusable by locking it out and then tagging it so individuals are visually aware that it should not be used and that the locks should not be removed. It works almost as a double protection system - a warning, and then a deterrent. Should someone fail to notice the tags stating the machine is out of service, the locks will actually prevent them from using the machine. Additionally, it's common knowledge to those who regularly perform lockout-tagout that the only person who should remove a lockout is the person who put it into place; this is often stated on the tag itself via a signature, name, initials or even a photograph of the individual.
     
    Does it Work? Of course it does. While lockout-tagout is not a 100% error-proof method of preventing injury, it can be highly effective when properly practiced, integrated and acknowledged.
     
    If you're repairing a large and potentially hazardous piece of equipment, the most serious and apparent risk would be for someone to try using the equipment without realizing what you're doing. For example, imagine that you're cleaning or repairing the blades on an industrial sized combine that processes grain. The machine is 30 feet tall and the area you're working in (where the blades are) is like a giant enclosed box. Wouldn't you be a little nervous working inside that box if you knew that tens or hundreds of other workers will be passing by that combine over the next few hours, all with their own tasks to complete and orders to carry out? What if there was a lack of communication and a supervisor walks by wondering why the system isn't running and decides to turn it on? Most likely, common sense is going to tell you to disable the machine, or at the very least leave a note on the outside stating that you're in there, right? This is the concept of lockout-tagout. Disable the equipment, and notify everyone with a tag as to why it's disabled. Generally, it's a somewhat simple concept that can be very beneficial to worker safety when correctly utilized.
     
    Due to the large variety of industrial equipment and machinery that could pose a potential hazard, there's an abundance of different lockout-tagout products available. They come in all shapes and sizes with features and designs that have been custom tailored to meet the needs of a specific application. Most often, a lockout device itself consists of two parts. The first part is usually a clamp, cable or cover of some sort while the second component is a padlock to lock it into place. Clamps and covers are generally used to protect plugs, buttons and switches. Cables are typically used to prevent the use of knobs (for valves). Of course there are many applications, but anything with an energy source typically has plugs and/or buttons and therefore, these are disabled via lockout-tagout.
     
    Overall, lockout-tagout is a critical factor in decreasing the instances of injury and death in the workplace, especially so in industrial situations. If you're considering implementing lockout-tagout procedure at your company or if you are interested in viewing the many products available that might aid in a safer and more efficient workplace then get started by checking out our complete line of lockout-tagout products today.

  • StopOut™ 120/240 Circuit Breaker Lockout

    Stopout Circuit Breaker LockoutThe following were the top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards for the fiscal year 2010 (October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010):

    1. Scaffolding
    2. Fall protection
    3. Hazard communication standard
    4. Ladders
    5. Respiratory protection
    6. (LOCKOUT/TAGOUT) CONTROL OF HAZARDOUS ENERGY
    7. Electrical, wiring methods
    8. Powered industrial trucks
    9. Electrical systems design
    10. Machines, general requirements

     

    In response to the LOCKOUT/TAGOUT standards, The Lockout Store now carries a new brand of solutions for your workplace - StopOut™.

     

    The StopOut™ 120/240 The Circuit Breaker Lockout ratchets (check out the video below) down to quickly fit and secure lockout onto circuit breaker. The Circuit Breaker Lockout is a visible safety red to call attention to the locked out switch. The Circuit Breaker Lockout is also uniquely designed with an octagon peg which allows specially designed tags to be secured directly to the device. Lockout device measures 15/16"W x 3 1/3"L x 1 1/2"D. The durable plastic Circuit Breaker Lockout device features a bar clamp design, allowing the lockout to simply slide onto a breaker switch and lock securely into place by closing the handle down.

     

    The unique design of the Circuit Breaker Lockout allows for fastest lockout application time and quick and easy removal as well. The device does not rely on a traditional screw mechanism to secure. It can easily be applied with just one hand if needed. No more frustration with small, difficult to grip screws. Simply lift open the handle, slide onto the breaker bar, close the hand down and secure with a padlock.The unit uses two metal jaws for optimum secure grip.

     

    Go to the Circuit Breaker Lockout product page.

     

    See our full line of Lockout/Tagout solutions.

     

  • STOPOUT® Ball Valve Lockout

    Stopout Ball Valve Lockout
    Here are 7 steps to creating an effective
    lockout/tagout program:

     

    1. Become familiar with the Federal regulations known
    as the control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout).

     

    2. Survey your facility
    for all machinery and equipment that have the potential for requiring
    lockout.

     

    3. Identify and mark energy sources and lockout points such as:
    • mechanical • electrical • hydraulic • thermal • pressure • process control •
    stored energy

     

    4. Identify and document the necessary devices that isolate and
    lockout energy sources, and secure them for on-site use. Standardize the devices
    for various Functions for proper identification.

     

    5. Develop, standardize, and document the lockout process for each energy source. Identify employees’ level of involvement in the program – those that are made aware, affected, and to perform the lockout procedures.

     

    6. Initiate and enact the lockout/tagout Program that follows the training Procedures. Post reminders and have The necessary lockout/tagout devices Readily available.

     

    7. Review, identify and document changes to existing lockout procedures and new energy sources that require lockout. Make corrections, changes and additions to the program.Procedures, devices,
    and personnel must be set in place to prevent a serious injury or death that
    could occur when someone thinks something is safely off. To ensure machines and
    equipment remain off means to establish a “program consisting of energy control
    procedures, employee training, and periodic inspections...”, as described in the
    OSHA standard. The standard also identifies products used for lockout/tagout,
    such as lockout devices and tagout devices.

     

    Stop valves from being turned by applying this unique gull-wing design ball valve lockout.

     
    • The unique and easy-to-use ball valve lockout has two wingspan halves that hinge to
    quickly and simply secure over any closed ball valve handle.• The device is
    secured with a padlock that is positioned so that the tag is always on top and
    visible.

    • The bright red, plastic device works with ball valve handles
    either perpendicular or parallel to the pipe.

     

    • The durable plastic resists
    solvents, cracking, abrasion and extreme temperatures.Just shutting off, unplugging, or disconnecting equipment is not enough; comply with OSHA Regulations, and Lock it Out!

  • STOPOUT® Cinch Lockout

    Cinch Cable Lockout
    Here's some OSHA definitions on lockout/tagout before we delve into solutions for the control of hazardous energy.

     

    Lockout - The placement of a lockout device on an energy isolating device, in accordance with an established procedure, ensuring that the energy isolating device and the equipment being controlled cannot be operated until the lockout device is removed.

     

    Lockout device - A device that utilizes a positive means such as a lock, either key or combination type, to hold an energy isolating device in the safe position and prevent the energizing of a machine or equipment. Included are blank flanges and bolted slip blinds.

     

    Tagout - The placement of a tagout device on an energy isolating device, in accordance with an established procedure, to indicate that the energy isolating device and the equipment being controlled may not be operated until the tagout device is removed.

     

    Tagout device - A prominent warning device, such as a tag and a means of attachment, which can be securely fastened to an energy isolating device in accordance with an established procedure, to indicate that the energy isolating device and the equipment being controlled may not be operated until the tagout device is removed.

     

    Click here for OSHA's 1910.147 standard.

     
    Lockout multiple devices quickly – simply and neatly.With the Cinch Cable Lockout, you can lock out multiple devices at once. The spool contains an internal cable feature to quickly, simply and neatly extend and loop the six-foot cable through several devices to lock them out.

     

    Simply insert the end of the cable back into the cinch lock device for it to catch tight. When the unmovable cable is pulled tight it automatically holds and will not release from the spool.

     

    This is the only standard size lockout device that will spool the cable all the way inside the device for easy storage. No more messing with loose cables that can become tangled and twisted, and the red funnel cable feeder identifies quickly where to insert the cable back into the spooling device.

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