Lockout Tagout training is an important way to prevent hazardous energy and protect occupational safety and health. Lockout using an energy isolating device should be done before equipment service or maintenance and it is vital to follow lockout tagout processes correctly. Hazardous energy includes any type of energy that could be released and cause harm to a person, and this includes chemical, hydraulic, mechanical and electrical energy, and more.

When you work with machinery, you will need to take basic steps to ensure employees are protected, and LOTO procedures are an example of these safety precautions. Lockout tagout training has been introduced throughout many industries because hazardous energy sources have affected employees in Ireland when maintenance is not carried out with an energy isolating device. Such accidents, while rare, can cause serious injuries and even fatalities so the introduction of lockout devices and LOTO procedure has been welcomed by the Irish? health administration. Here’s our quick guide to the lockout tagout procedures that are standard practice to protect employees from hazardous energy sources and maintain occupational safety and health during maintenance operations.

Lockout tagout devices and the six steps of lockout tagout (LOTO)

Lockout tagout devices and the lockout tagout LOTO are part of the energy control procedures in a workplace and authorized employees and workers must be trained correctly in LOTO safety to protect occupational safety and health. The tagout device is only one part of the process and every step is essential to ensure that LOTO safe maintenance activities are carried out on any machine or equipment in your workplace to protect your employees, equipment and work processes.

The six steps of lockout tagout procedures in the correct order are:

Step 1 – Preparation

This is the first step in lockout tagout procedures, identifying any hazardous energy sources and means of energy control. Lockout tagout training will teach your authorized employees to identify this type of energy source before applying lockout tagout devices.

Step 2 – Shutdown

This is the process of shutting down machines or equipment to be serviced or maintained. This is also the time to notify affected employees, contractors or visitors of the shutdown. This process is part of your safety culture, and it will soon become routine to perform lockout maintenance in this manner.

Step 3 – Isolation

This step involves isolating the machine or equipment from any source of energy, often by turning off power at a breaker, turning off water pressure or using an energy isolating device. The shutdown of energy is a vital part of the lockout process, protecting your employees before further energy control procedures are carried out.

Step 4 – Lockout/tagout

This is the crucial phase of lockout tagout procedures, when lockout devices are applied to keep energy isolating devices in their safe positions, so only an authorized employee carrying out the lockout tagout procedures can turn them back into unsafe positions. This will prevent an unexpected startup which would restore energy. The lockout tagout program also involves putting a securely fastened tag on the device with the name of the authorized employee performing the lockout tagout and any additional information – hence the name lockout tagout device. LOTO devices are designed to be simple and straightforward safety devices to use, giving you exclusive control over your power sources.

Step 5 – Stored energy check

Even at this stage, it’s possible for hazardous energy to be stored in the machine that has been locked out. Here, any residual energy or potentially hazardous stored energy is identified and relieved or made non-hazardous. Depending on the energy type, the way you release stored energy will vary, so you will need to take the correct energy control measures. Once the machine is de-energized, there will be no risk of hazardous energy to control.

Step 6 – Isolation verification

This is the time to verify isolation by double checking that the LOTO procedures have been followed correctly: the machine should be in the off position with no connection to an energy source, with lockout tagout devices applied appropriately and the residual energy removed. Once this step is completed, an authorized employee can verify that the machine is safe, there is no hazardous energy stored within it, and maintenance, servicing workers or operators can proceed to interact with the machine.

Lockout tagout training with ASM

This course is vital for anyone who wishes to implement a Lock Out Tag Out system. It will provide those who are responsible for LOTO procedures with a full overview of how they work. Workplace safety is a vital responsibility and our half day lockout tagout training course will ensure that your authorized employees, maintenance workers and other employees understand how to prevent hazardous energy sources from causing problems and carry out the correct energy control or lockout tagout procedure. Book your employees and maintenance workers onto our lockout tagout training and bring lockout tagout devices into your workplace today.

Important Note: The information provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional training. It is crucial to seek proper lockout tagout training from a professional training company before performing any lockout tagout steps.