Control of Hazardous Energy Sources

Written February 17, 2019

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Also known as Lockout/Tagout — how is your program?

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The OSHA standard for The Control of Hazardous Energy — or Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) — addresses the practices and procedures necessary to disable machinery or equipment, thereby preventing the release of hazardous energy while employees perform servicing and maintenance activities. This regulation was written to prevent employees from becoming injured while performing service or repair operations on machinery or equipment. The main hazard targeted by the standard is the presence of hazardous energy in the equipment.

The LOTO standard applies to all employees who service or maintain equipment where an unexpected energization or energy release may injure the employee.

The standard requires the development of specific Lockout/Tagout procedures for each individual machine. These procedures must describe the department or location; the machine; the equipment ID number; employees authorized to lock out the machine; employees affected by locking out the machine; energy sources found within the machine; energy controls/isolation devices on the machine; shutdown procedures for the machine; release and restart procedures; date written or revised; and review and approval signatures.

Once all the procedures have been written, various levels of training are required for employees depending upon their exposure to machine hazards. The actual maintenance personnel who do the work are defined as ‘authorized employees’ under the standard, and require the greatest amount of training. Regular employees who run the machine are defined as ‘affected employees’, and require ‘do not touch’ training. Lastly, employees who are not part of manufacturing but may enter the manufacturing area are defined as ‘other employees’, and require only awareness training.

After the training is completed and the program has been in place for a year, it is required to review the program and test whether ‘authorized employees’ know how to follow the LOTO procedures. If they do not follow them correctly, then they need to be retrained.

SGIA has created a written program template for members to use for the development of a lockout/tagout program. For more information, please contact Gary Jones at gjones@sgia.org.