Energy sources including electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, and others can be hazardous to workers. OSHA’s Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout), Title 29 CFR 1910.147, and NFPA 70E article 120, Establishing an Electrically Safe Work Condition, are general industry standards focused on addressing the practices and procedures necessary to disable machinery or equipment. They are focused on preventing the startup, unexpected energization, or release of hazardous energy during their servicing and maintenance that can result in serious injury or death.
An effective Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) approach establishes an Energy Control Program; utilizes Energy Control Procedures for affixing appropriate lockout devices and/or tagout devices to energy isolation devices; trains workers on hazards or hazardous energy and on lockout tagout procedures, policies, and equipment; and conducts periodic audits / reviews of the system (at least annually).
LOTO Program Development
If you have not yet developed a LOTO Program, the first step is to create a written program that documents the LOTO energy control process within your facility. Lewellyn’s experienced occupational safety & health professionals have written LOTO programs in nearly every industry. Each program is custom developed for compliance with the applicable OSHA regulations and Consensus Standards as well as your company’s specific requirements and policies.
Energy Control Procedures (ECP) Development
Another key step is the development of Energy Control Procedures (ECPs). Lewellyn’s LOTO ECP development process includes 3 phases:
- PHASE I – Process Review and Data Collection
Information about the equipment located throughout the facility will be collected, entered in Lewellyn’s software platform, and analyzed to provide the energy isolation points (EIP).
- PHASE II – Energy Control Procedure (ECP) Development
Lewellyn’s safety professionals will develop the Energy Control Procedures (ECPs), identifying the EIP associated with the equipment, tagging each EIP, and capturing an image of the asset and the EIP. Custom templates can be selected from our library of ECPs or we can customize your own template. The use of our software reduces the amount of time required to produce a custom ECP with the images and EIP tags. Once all ECPs have been completed they will be available for review electronically.
- PHASE III – Final Review and Delivery
Lewellyn will print and post the approved ECPs on the equipment. Various mounting styles will be utilized depending upon the type, location, equipment condition, mounting surface, and portability of equipment. Each ECP will need to be approved prior to their printing and posting.
Annual Audits / Reviews
Annual Audit / Reviews are used to verify that ECPs are accurate, and that employees are able to demonstrate proper energy isolation of equipment to perform servicing and maintenance. Lewellyn’s health and safety professionals can also complete an evaluation of authorized employees as an added service.
LOTO Compliance Gap Assessment
For companies that have already implemented a LOTO program, Lewellyn offers a LOTO Compliance Gap Assessment (CGA). Our experienced team will perform an in-depth review of your written LOTO program, ECPs, employee interviews, and compliance with applicable OSHA Regulations and Consensus Standards. Through the LOTO CGA process, you will have a detailed report of where your LOTO program stands, both for compliant items as well as for any gaps identified, with recommendations to close the gaps.
An effective LOTO approach will assist your company’s compliance with the elements of the LOTO regulation and give your employees a set of tools to work safely.
Start your Lockout/Tagout program today.
Lockout is the placement of a lockout device on an energy isolation device, in accordance with an established procedure, ensuring that energy isolation device and equipment being controlled cannot be operated until lockout device is removed.
Tagout is the placement of a tagout device on a energy isolating device, in accordance with an established procedure, to indicate that energy isolating device and equipment being controlled may not be operated until tagout device is removed
A Lockout/Tagout procedure should include the following 6 steps:
- Preparation: This is a planning step. An authorized employee understands the types of hazardous energy and specific hazards that need to be controlled, and the means for controlling them.
- Shutdown: The machine or equipment that will be affected are shut down, and any affected employees is informed.
- Isolation: After the shutdown, the machine or equipment is isolated from any source of energy.
- Lockout/Tagout: After isolation, the authorized employee will attach lockout and/or tagout devices to each energy isolation device to ensure that it cannot be moved to the unsafe position. The tag must include the name of the person who performed the lockout and additional information.
- Stored Energy Check: Even after lockout / tagout is performed, it is critical to verify if any hazardous stored or residual energy is still within the machine or equipment. If so, it must be relieved, disconnected, restrained, or made non-hazardous in some other way.
- Isolation Verification: As a final step, an authorized employee verifies and confirms that the machine or equipment has been properly isolated and de-energized.