Introduction to Lockout Tagout
What is Lockout/Tagout?
Lockout Tagout is an important safety procedure which involves turning off the energy supply of equipment and machinery whilst maintenance and repairs are being carried out. This procedure protects workers from danger and the equipment accidentally being set in motion.
Safety Tags can be used to communicate and reinforce lockout guidance to personnel.
Why is Lockout/Tagout important?
There are many potential risks and hazards within the workplace but none greater than the sudden release of energy generated by a machine, source of electricity, or pressurised substance. Every year hundreds of workers are injured or even killed whilst conducting routine maintenance or repairs on workplace machinery and equipment due to this sudden release of energy.
As a result of this, every company has a legal requirement to ensure that all machines which are being repaired or maintained have their energy sources turned off and locked out. This ‘locking off’ practice will prevent the unauthorised operation of the machine until all of the work has been completed.
As well as saving lives it also helps to prevent damage to equipment.
Lockout/Tagout Relevant Legislation
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASAWA), section 2 states:
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER), Regulation 19-Isolation from sources of energy states:
The Directive 2009/104/EC – use of work equipment specifies:
EN 1037 specifies safety measure requirements aimed at preventing unexpected machine start-up from all types of energy sources.