Lockout / Tagout:
The Key to Controlling Hazardous Energy
Energy sources on farms come from more than just electricity including hydraulic, chemical, thermal, gravitational, pneumatic, and residual – to name just a few. All of these sources can result in injury so it's important to not only consider the energy released when turning a machine on, but the resulting energy for turning it off.
Although farms are exempted from OSHA's Lockout / Tagout standard for general industry (29 CFR 1910.147), it is important to understand why developing a set of LOTO practices can result in a safer workplace.
Here are some tips to keep your farms safe:
Steps to follow in order to properly LOTO equipment:
Prepare for shutdown by understanding the equipment hazards and notify all affected employees.
2. SHUT DOWN
Shut down the equipment properly by following normal shutdown procedures – turn all switches to OFF/neutral.
Isolate and disconnect ALL primary and secondary energy sources by using energy isolation devices in accordance with established procedures to prevent transmission or release of energy.
Apply locks and tags to valves, breakers/electrical disconnects and mechanical blocks. Ensure that you are using locks and tags that can withstand the environment where they will be used.
5. RELEASE OR BLOCK
Release or block energy including discharging, draining, venting, cooling, blocking and/or relieving all stored energy.
Verify the energy isolation by checking that other workers are clear of the potential hazards, that locking devices are secure, attempting a normal start-up and returning control to OFF/neutral.
Perform the maintenance or service.
8. RELEASE FROM LOCKOUT
Release from lockout by ensuring that all machinery is properly assembled, and tools are removed, that all employees are outside of the danger zones and are notified that the LOTO devices are being removed. Removal of the LOTO devices must be done by authorized employee who applied it.
Have a Safe Day!