This session covers the safety procedure known as “lockout/tagout” and related hazardous energy control measures designed to protect you from injuries due to unexpected start-up of machinery or equipment or the release of stored hazardous energy during servicing and maintenance operations after the equipment has been turned off. It does not cover the protection measures for normal production operations-that is, while the equipment is still running. This is part of your training as an “affected employee,” or an operator of a machine or equipment that is serviced or maintained by an authorized employee other than the operator. This training is also required if you work in an area where servicing or maintenance of machinery or equipment is being performed, even though you do not operate the machinery or equipment. For example, material handlers and welders who routinely work in areas near machinery or equipment during servicing or maintenance operations are considered affected employees.
Why “Lockout/Tagout: Affected Employees” Matters:
Hazardous energy is dangerous and often deadly. Failure to lock out equipment is a leading cause of death and injury in the workplace.
There are thousands of injuries every year resulting from hazardous energy. Injuries include electrocution, burns, amputations, cuts, scalding, and crushing. Many of these injuries could be prevented by turning off equipment and making sure it stays off before servicing it. In fact, a government study showed that 80 percent of workers fail to turn off equipment before servicing it.
Compliance with the lockout/tagout standard (29 CFR 1910.147) prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year.
Workers injured on the job from exposure to hazardous energy lose an average of 24 workdays for recuperation.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in 2009, lockout/tagout (general industry) ranked number 5 on the top 10 most frequently cited standards list. Lockout/tagout also ranked number 3 on the list of standards for which OSHA assessed the highest penalties.
- Hazardous energy is dangerous and deadly. Failure to lock out equipment is a leading cause of death and injury in the workplace.
- Lockout/tagout procedures must be used whenever unexpected start-up or stored energy release could occur.
- Be sure to observe lockout/tagout rules; leave all devices in place while equipment is being serviced, maintained, or repaired; and wait for instructions from authorized employees before using equipment.
- Verify that equipment is safe to operate following lockout/tagout.