Safety lockout awareness saves hefty fines

Launch of OSHA lockout/tagout website aims to educate about dangers of unguarded work hazards

  • OSHA compliant devices verify conformity with safety regulations
  • Navigation to 21 product categories
  • Six-step OSHA procedure encouraged

December 2013 – PASS Ltd, the independent test expert, has announced the launch of www.lockout-lock.com, a dedicated website for 21 categories of OSHA-compliant lockout/tagout devices, advising that a clearly-defined lockout/tagout procedure is followed to ensure the safety of workers carrying out repairs and servicing.

In November 2013, the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposed fines totalling over $150,000 on a company for failing to use safety lockouts, leading to the death of a worker. OSHA said this was a terrible, preventable tragedy that underscores the importance of following standards to control hazardous energy by training workers on affixing machine lockout devices.

This comes too soon after reports earlier in February 2013 that Barcadi’s Bottling Corporation faces fines of more than $190,000 after an OSHA investigation into the death of a worker crushed by a heavy palletiser machine found that this was due to lockout/tagout procedures not being enforced at its Jacksonville Florida facility.

Barry Atkins, managing director of PASS, cautions: “Every year there are many easily avoidable accidents that take place within working environments. These can be life threatening and can even be fatal, but could easily be prevented by the use of a lockout.

“A lockout device stops something from being switched on when it is absolutely essential that it remains switched off. Under the lockout/tagout (LOTO) regulations enforced by regulatory bodies, it is the responsibility of an employer to ensure that correct LOTO procedures are observed.”

OSHA requires that control of hazardous energy be performed according to a six-step procedure: preparing for shutdown, shutting down equipment, isolating all energy sources to the equipment, fitting locks and tags, releasing stored energy and verifying that equipment is isolated.

An effective example of a lockout procedure is to fully isolate an energy source ahead of maintenance work, which would entail identifying the energy source, isolating it, and then locking and tagging it to prove the equipment is isolated. These locks should not be removed until the work is completed, and each engineer has signed off that work is completed.

There are many kinds of lockout devices available on the market, each of which is suitable for a different application. Intuitive website navigation provides rapid access to lockout equipment in 21 product categories.

For further information regarding the (product) visit PASS Ltd’s dedicated OSHA lockout/tagout website.

lockout-example

A simple device like this industrial Lock out tag and hasp can help to save a life

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