Enforcement and Inspection, Lockout-Tagout

Lockout/Tagout: 5 Steps to a Successful Program


To implement a successful lockout/tagout program, you need 5 key elements, says a top BLR interactive training program. It then proceeds to deliver them to you.


Yesterday’s Safety Daily Advisor looked at what the safety education website, siri.uvm.edu, calls the “fatal 5” of lockout/tagout.


These missteps, which account for most of the 60,000 injuries and 120 deaths recorded each year from accident startups of hazardous machinery, include (1) not shutting down equipment before service or repair, (2) not disconnecting at the power source, (3) not draining or blocking residual energy, (4) accidental restart, and (5) failing to clear the area of tools and personnel before restarting.


Today, let’s look at another 5, but these are 5 elements you must include to create a lockout/tagout program that’s safe, effective, and legal per the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.147. The elements are laid out in detail in BLR’s program, Interactive CD: Lockout/Tagout.


1. Internal policy. Most aspects of a safe workplace start with a company’s statement of how things should be. Your lockout/tagout policy fits that description. It should include what equipment needs to be secured, how to secure it, how to communicate that equipment has been secured, and who is responsible for this action.



Need to do lockout/tagout training? Have little time to do it? Students train themselves with BLR’s Interactive CD: Lockout/Tagout computer-based program. Try it at no cost! Learn more.



2. Contractor policy. Because equipment service and repair is often handled by outsiders, a separate policy is needed to address what these outside resources need to do to meet your lockout/tagout standards, and how they will coordinate with your own people. Many accidents happen when a contractor takes one action while an employee takes another, contrary action.


3. Documentation. The law requires a written procedure for the lockout and/or tagout of each piece of equipment that presents an energy hazard.


4. Inspection. By law, employers must inspect every lockout/tagout process at least annually, then review the results of the inspection with a person authorized to use the equipment. The inspection must be done by an authorized person other than the machine operator. The inspection report should note the process inspected, the employees involved, the date, and the name of the inspector.


5. Training. Again, by law, all persons authorized to do lockout/tagout must be trained. The training should also make those not authorized aware that they are not allowed to attempt lockout/tagout, and must call on an authorized person instead. Retraining is required if a person changes jobs, if a new machine or process is introduced, if there’s a change in how to control the sources of energy, if there’s been a failure in following the procedures, or even a close call. In fact, as the program says, you need to train “if there’s any reason to doubt employees are failing to follow the procedures.”


The training should concentrate on those employees with a “productivity first” mindset, say the authors of Interactive CD: Lockout/Tagout. With consequences as drastic as they are in a failure to lock out properly, every employee must learn that safety is always the first priority.


Training in None of Your Time


Of course, telling you to train and retrain is, as they say, easy for us to say. Few safety professionals have anywhere near the time they need to do all that their jobs require. For that reason, we’d like to tell you a bit more about the program mentioned above. Interactive CD: Lockout/Tagout is a highly effective means to have your workers largely teach themselves the key understandings of lockout/tagout.



Try Interactive CD: Lockout/Tagout with your own employees at no cost or risk. Read more.



In 72 fast-moving slides, they are exposed to the reasons for the procedure, as well as the tools and procedures to implement it. They also see the consequences if they don’t … in unforgettably graphic terms.


What’s more, the interactive elements keep them completely engaged in their learning. Almost every slide asks them to click on the answers to questions, with immediate feedback, to drag and drop lockout equipment into its proper place or use it properly, or to read a personal story about those who didn’t.


There are also several “knowledge demonstration” quick quizzes (KDs) along the way that do not allow program completion until the material is mastered. Thus, when workers tell you they’ve learned the material, you know they’ve really learned it.


Because computer-based-training has to be experienced to be appreciated, we’ve arranged for you to try the program in your own workplace, with your own people, at no cost for up to 30 days before deciding to purchase. If it’s not for you, we’ll pay for its return.


Just click one of the links on this page, and we’ll be happy to set things up.