LOTO Annual Audits and Tools

March 21, 2022

by Bob Schmidt

Does the safety of the folks on your plant floor give you the heebie-jeebies at night? Ever wonder if you’re ready when OSHA decides to drop by for a look-see around your facility? Are compliance and safety a cumbersome burden in your life?

I think we can all agree that there is nothing more important on the plant floor than the safety of your team(s) and preventing injuries, or worse. Having a comprehensive and up-to-date safety plan is critical toward this goal; it’s also the law. While compliance for legal purposes should be way down the list of reasons after safety, as of 2021, failing to comply with lockout/tagout (LOTO) regulations is the #1 most cited OSHA regulation in the manufacturing industry.

OSHA requires annual audits for every machine-specific procedure. The purpose of a yearly audit is to: 

  • Verify the accuracy and efficacy of lockout/tagout procedures  
  • Ensure that any changes or alterations to equipment or machines that may affect a procedure are correctly updated.  
  • Confirm that authorized employees know how to follow lockout/tagout procedures correctly and lockout a piece of equipment.

The program also requires that a comprehensive record of the audit be kept. Records must list who conducted it, when it occurred, and which employees and machines were audited.

LOTO Safety courtesy of Creative Safety Supply

“Holy Moley! This seems like it’s going to be a lot of work and take up a lot of my time that I just don’t have!”

Performing ongoing or, at least, annual LOTO audits yourself can indeed be time-consuming and bring about a reduction in productivity. But it doesn’t need to! Preparing for a LOTO audit doesn’t have to take over your time and resources. As a global leader in lockout/tagout services, Rockwell Automation LOTO engineers can help you perform annual lockout/tagout audits – and avoid OSHA citations and employee injuries. Enlisting our team to help with the yearly LOTO auditing process can yield an excellent ROI. Letting us drive the auditing process can benefit your operations by reducing downtime and the need to pull yourself or your team from the plant floor.

“But Bob, I’d like to do it myself and just need some tools to accomplish that.”

Say no more! We can help you with that, too! Our ScanESC modern software solution can help manage your lockout/tagout program.

ScanESC lockout/tagout software allows you to digitize your entire LOTO program quickly. It helps ensure that all information available to employees is up to date and available through an intuitive, user-friendly interface. Employees can collect data and track activities even if offline through the cloud-enhanced system. All necessary information will sync once the connection is restored.

ScanESC can help you save money over your current audit and lockout processes. You can make proactive, real-time decisions to achieve employee safety and lockout/tagout compliance with company policy and government regulations without the annual firedrill to catch up! Realize the benefits of real-time data synchronization between your authorized employees and a cloud-based secure portal with this critical and easy-to-use lockout/tagout software tool. Imagine not having to audit and update all of your procedures once a year! That would be a load off, right? You can increase efficiency and safety by updating procedures in real-time as things change on your machines and plant floor.

With ScanESC your company will benefit from real-time synchronizing of data between your authorized employees and a cloud-based secure portal.

Simplify your life, increase efficiency, keep your team safe, maintain compliance and get a good night’s sleep with our fully electronic LOTO program.

“So, do I need any special tools for this solution?”

That would be a “No!” We make this so easy. With this software, you can access your LOTO procedures with any IOS, Android, or Windows mobile device! We’re talking phones, pads, tablets, and laptops, to name a few! You can also access your LOTO procedures and supporting documentation for machines and facilities anywhere and anytime. Personally, I like being productive at the beach! Yes, you can do that, too! Additional benefits include:

  • Electronically audit procedures and employees
  • Track lockout/tagout usage and downtime
  • Assign audits to individual
  • Manage and access all LOTO audit data through a standard web browser

Employees can use the mobile app to audit procedures and locate related documentation by using QR Code tags installed on the machines whenever and wherever they’d like. The web portal lets you access dashboards with statistics for lockout/tagout status, duration, and total downtime. You can also manage users, locations, and procedures with access to historical data regarding equipment status. Another benefit is managing your procedure documents and enabling real-time updates.

Mobile App Benefits

  • Audit procedures and authorized employees
  • Access LOTO procedures and supporting documents
  • Locate related documentation by using QR code tags installed on the machines
  • Execute Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Web Portal Benefits

  • Access dashboards with statistics for LOTO status, duration, and total downtime
  • Manage users, locations, and procedures
  • Access historical data regarding equipment status
  • Manage your procedure documents to enable real-time updates to your procedures

No matter which solution you choose – our annual engineering support or self-auditing with ScanESC – Buckles-Smith Electric is here to help with our simple solutions! Contact us today for more information or any questions you might have.

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