Lockout – Tagout

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Every year there are thousands of accidents during repair and maintenance work on industrial power sources and machinery. Quite a few of these accidents are caused by an unexpected power surge. In Europe, however, several laws stipulate that all energy sources must be switched off and blocked (‘locked out’) while work is being done on machinery.

What is it?

Lockout-Tagout is an established safety procedure whereby the energy supply of industrial machinery and equipment is switched off during maintenance or repair work. The procedure is designed to protect personnel against the release of unwanted surges of energy and the dangers of machinery in operation.

Why Lockout-Tagout?

  • Work safety during maintenance, cleaning and repair work.
  • Accident prevention.
  • Damage prevention.
  • Protection against one’s own errors and those of others.
  • Everyone’s attention is drawn to the lockout situation

Current legislation and regulations

EC Directive 89/655 provides ‘minimum requirements’ regarding safety and health of employees while using equipment at work.’ Some examples: the employer must take appropriate measures to reduce the risks to a minimum. (Art. 4) (Each piece of equipment must be equipped with clearly identifiable devices with which it can be disconnected from all of its sources of energy. It must be possible for maintenance work to take place while the machine is shut down. (App. 3.13) During maintenance work, it must be possible for personnel to reach all necessary points under constantly safe conditions. This European directive already applies in the Netherlands and Belgium (BS 2 Sept 93).

OSHA Regulations (USA)

According to the OSHA regulations for the control of hazardous energy (1910.147), employers are required to establish regulations for the placement of suitable locking systems on energy-bearing devices and switching off equipment during work. This prevents the unplanned supply of energy, ensures that equipment cannot be switched on accidentally and that stored energy cannot be released. All of this is in the interest of preventing physical injury to personnel.

See our Pikt-o-norm catalogue

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