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Safety Benefits Of Lockout Tagout Kits
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Workplace safety is one of the most important issues employers and employees deal with on a daily basis. In any work environment, there are potential safety hazards that must be addressed. In many workplaces, machinery and other devices break down and require maintenance. To ensure the equipment is not used by employees until it is working properly, the use of lockout tagout kits is the best way to guarantee everyone's safety.
What is Lockout Tagout?
Lockout Tagout is just as it sounds. Lockout refers to a locking device being installed on machinery or other equipment so it cannot be turned on and used. Tagout refers to placing a warning label or attaching a tag to the device to make everyone aware there is a problem that needs fixing. Both new and experienced employees should be trained in these procedures, and there are many training options available for teaching employees proper safety procedures. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, better known as OSHA, offers an online training program on Lockout Tagout procedures, commonly referred to as LOTO procedures. Some companies offer live training for employees, thinking they get a better idea of what's involved with the procedures. Other companies create their own training kits, allowing them to specialize their training based on the equipment being used.
The purpose of Lockout Tagout is to make people aware of machinery malfunctions and prevent injuries. A standard practice of OSHA since 1990, it is required to be used on such equipment including electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic, thermal, chemical and many others. LOTO procedures are designed to make sure equipment is not accidentally turned on while undergoing maintenance. For example, if a mechanic shuts off a breaker and another person turns it back on too soon, the mechanic could be fatally injured. Installing a lock on the equipment has proven to be a very safe and reliable way to prevent unnecessary injuries. The locks are placed on the controls while machinery is under repair, and require either a key or combination to unlock and remove. Along with locks, tags help alert others that repairs are underway. In many manufacturing plants, there may be different kinds of tags used by various maintenance personnel including electricians, HVAC personnel and others.
Lockout Tagout procedures offer numerous benefits to employers and employees. They include specific information telling others how to shut down and restrict access to potentially hazardous situations. The procedures also make it easy to ensure the correct information is available to all workers and any outside maintenance personnel from private contractors. LOTO procedures are especially useful in manufacturing environments, where shift changes are the norm. Having the same information available to all shifts keeps everyone safe and prevents accidents, while also making sure the same procedures are standard on all shifts. By emphasizing the benefits of LOTO and offering training to employees, companies can have peace of mind knowing the correct procedures are in place when equipment malfunctions or needs repair. Using lockout tagout kits properly is one of the best ways companies can show workplace safety is a high priority, letting employees know proper safety procedures are in place.
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