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Introduction to Lockout Tagout |

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.

Once all of the work and repairs to the equipment have been checked and completed then all of the lockout equipment and padlocks can be removed ready for safe operation again.

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

UK Legislation

UK Legislation

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASAWA), section 2 states:

It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure so far as reasonably practical, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER), Regulation 19-Isolation from sources of energy states:

Every employer shall ensure that where appropriate work equipment is provided with suitable means to isolate it from all its sources of energy
Every employer shall take appropriate measures to ensure that re-connection of any energy source to work equipment does not expose any person using the work equipment to any risk to his health or safety

European Legislation

European Legislation

The Directive 2009/104/EC – use of work equipment specifies:

The employer shall take every measure to ensure the safety of the work equipment made available to workers
All work equipment must be fitted with clearly identifiable means to isolate it from all its energy sources
Reconnection must be presumed to pose no risk to the workers concerned

EN 1037 specifies safety measure requirements aimed at preventing unexpected machine start-up from all types of energy sources.

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