Lockout/Tagout – A reliable safety measure

While undertaking any task, safety should be given the prime importance.

Talking particularly about EHS, a Permit to Work System works as a safeguard ensuring formal authorization and validation while carrying out any hazardous work. PTW certifies that all the components for a safe work system are recognized before a high risk work commences, thus minimizing and controlling the risk to individuals and the installation. A positive safety procedure, Lockout/Tagout is important for the servicing and maintenance of electrical systems or machinery in cases where workers could be hurt by the unexpected start up, or energization of the equipment, or entry of any poisonous/injurious gases/agents.

It applies to all energy sources including hydraulic, pneumatic, thermal, mechanical, chemical and even gravity. Lockout/Tagout helps protecting workers by ensuring that all the circuits and machines are positively shut off, energy sources disconnected, locked out and tagged out for display. To be doubly sure better Try Out and test that the shutdown is complete and without any doubt.

Although there are risks associated with every workplace but having
A CASUAL attitude toward safe TY = CASUALTY

Steps to be taken before starting the work

Following steps must be completed in sequence before working on a machine/installation:-

  1. Arrange for shutdown
  2. Shut down the system or machine
  3. Disconnect and Isolate the system or machine from all energy sources or sources of any harmful gases/substances.
  4. To the energy-isolating device(s) apply lockout and tagout
  5. Release, restrain, or otherwise render safe all stored or residual energy
  6. If suitable, install neutralizing devices
  7. Regularly verify that energy has not re-accumulated to dangerous levels, if re-accumulation or any back feeding of hazardous energy is possible
  8. Validate the de-energization and isolation of the machine and give clearance for shutdown work

Clearing LOTO and Normalizing

It is very important that the person who applied for LOTO, only removes the lock and tag. Let there be no scope for any suspicion or confusion. Only when all the agencies have completed their jobs, pulled out the heads by counting, materials cleared and taken out their locks, the PTW can be cleared and installation re-charged.

The process of Lockout Tagout can be automated with software which helps in implementing procedures and manages resources in effective way, eliminating the human error with increased information availability for each equipment and isolation points. This software can be seamlessly integrated with Permit to Work system.

Learn more about ASK-EHS LOTO Software. 

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