5 Practical Steps to Implement a Lockout Tagout Program in Your Workplace
One of the critical safety protocols to implement in any workplace is Lockout Tagout (LOTO). This procedure is designed to ensure that equipment is properly shut down, and hazardous energy is isolated before any maintenance or repair work can be done, protecting workers from accidents or injuries. In this post, we'll be discussing practical solutions for implementing Lockout Tagout in the workplace, along with real-life examples, data, and actionable steps for readers to follow.
What is Lockout Tagout (LOTO)?
Lockout Tagout (LOTO) is a safety procedure used in industrial and commercial workplaces to ensure that hazardous energy sources are safely isolated before any maintenance or repair work is done. The energy sources can be in various forms, such as electrical, hydraulic, mechanical, pneumatic, or chemical, and can cause injury or death if not handled correctly. The procedure involves shutting down the equipment, isolating the energy source, and then locking and tagging the equipment to indicate that it's not to be operated until the maintenance work is complete.
Statistics on Lockout Tagout (LOTO) Accidents
According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), approximately 20% of workplace accidents are related to maintenance activities, and of those accidents, approximately 10% are due to inadequate LOTO procedures. In 2018, there were 35 work-related fatalities due to inadequate LOTO procedures in Canada. These statistics highlight the importance of implementing proper LOTO procedures in the workplace to prevent accidents and fatalities.
Practical Solutions for Implementing Lockout Tagout (LOTO) in the Workplace
Develop a LOTO Program: Creating a LOTO program is the first step towards implementing LOTO procedures in your workplace. The program should outline the procedures and policies for implementing LOTO in the workplace, along with the roles and responsibilities of employees and supervisors.
Train Employees: Proper training is essential for employees to understand the LOTO procedures and policies. Training should include identifying energy sources, recognizing hazardous energy, and understanding the LOTO procedures.
Use LOTO Devices: Lockout Tagout devices are essential components of LOTO procedures. Lockout devices prevent equipment from being operated, and tagout devices provide information about the status of the equipment.
Conduct Regular Audits: Regular audits can help ensure that LOTO procedures are being followed correctly. Audits should include reviewing LOTO procedures, ensuring employees are trained, and verifying that LOTO devices are in good condition.
Real-Life Examples of LOTO Accidents
In 2012, a worker in a Canadian manufacturing plant was injured when the machine he was working on was unexpectedly turned on. The machine had not been properly locked out, and the worker suffered severe injuries to his arm. In 2016, a worker in a Canadian sawmill was fatally injured when the equipment he was working on was unexpectedly turned on. The equipment had not been properly locked out, and the worker was unable to escape in time.
On-Track Safety is a leader in health and safety training and consulting services, including Lockout Tagout procedures. Contact us today to learn how we can help you implement proper LOTO procedures in your workplace.