How to Maintain OSHA Lockout/Tagout Compliance
August 2, 2021
There is no better time than now to consider your Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) energy control procedures and compliance. We all want our employees to be safe on the job, and it’s up to us to be sure that we are taking every precaution and providing the resources necessary to ensure that. LOTO is a critical piece of that mission.
Per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “Compliance with the Lockout/Tagout standard prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year. Workers injured on the job from exposure to hazardous energy lose an average of 24 workdays for recuperation.”
Does your plant have LOTO procedures in place? Are they current to your machines? When was the last time you audited or updated them? OSHA requires some markets to keep their LOTO procedures updated regularly, so it is valuable to do so annually. Stay one step ahead in terms of OSHA compliance and also benefit from a smooth, efficient running plant.
OSHA mandates that employees have the necessary knowledge and skills to comply with your company’s LOTO program. The employer’s responsibility is to verify that their team understands the appropriate Lockout/Tagout components and how they apply within your specific industry and plant.
It is also essential to recognize the different types of employees defined in the Lockout/Tagout standard and ensure that each employee receives the appropriate training. An affected employee operates equipment or works near equipment that requires Lockout/Tagout but who does not service or maintain it. An authorized employee is an individual who performs service or maintenance on a piece of equipment and therefore is responsible for locking and tagging it out. Training should discuss these differences and make each type of employee aware of their specific responsibilities.
Keeping up with your LOTO compliance and safety practices doesn’t need to be a daunting task consuming your valuable time. Buckles-Smith and Rockwell Automation can help with the tools and services to get you on the right track! We provide Auditing and Training Services. We also offer Device Recommendations and Hardware, and software to update your LOTO procedures in real-time. Need help creating your LOTO Policies for your company? Yep, we can help there, too!