Safety Photo of the Year: “Why Lock-Out, Tag-Out IS Vitally Important”

Caution: Somewhat Graphic Photo – Note: This Photo is the property of Jack Benton, and may not be used without written consent. Note: I dont know all of the details of this incident and only know that this accident was caused by failure to follow LOTO procedures.

Why LOTO is Vitally Important 3

Why LOTO is Vitally Important 2

Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout)


Introduction

“Lockout/Tagout (LOTO)” refers to specific practices and procedures to safeguard employees from the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities.

Approximately 3 million workers service equipment and face the greatest risk of injury if lockout/tagout is not properly implemented. Compliance with the lockout/tagout standard (29 CFR 1910.147) 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. In a study conducted by the United Auto Workers (UAW), 20% of the fatalities (83 of 414) that occurred among their members between 1973 and 1995 were attributed to inadequate hazardous energy control procedures specifically, lockout/tagout procedures.

LOTO is addressed in specific standards for the general industry, marine terminals, longshoring, and the construction industry.

Standards

This section highlights OSHA standards, preambles to final rules (background to final rules), directives (instructions for compliance officers), standard interpretations (official letters of interpretation of the standards), and national consensus standards related to LOTO.

Note: Twenty-five states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have OSHA-approved State Plans and have adopted their own standards and enforcement policies. For the most part, these States adopt standards that are identical to Federal OSHA. However, some States have adopted different standards applicable to this topic or may have different enforcement policies.

OSHA

General Industry (29 CFR 1910)

Marine Terminals (29 CFR 1917)

Longshoring (29 CFR 1918)

Construction Industry (29 CFR 1926)

Preambles to Final Rules

Directives

Standard Interpretations

National Consensus

Note: These are NOT OSHA regulations. However, they do provide guidance from their originating organizations related to worker protection.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

Lockout/Tagout Concepts

“Lockout/Tagout (LOTO)” refers to specific practices and procedures to safeguard employees from the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities. This requires that a designated individual turns off and disconnects the machinery or equipment from its energy source(s) before performing service or maintenance and that the authorized employee(s) either lock or tag the energy-isolating device(s) to prevent the release of hazardous energy and take steps to verify that the energy has been isolated effectively. The following references provide information about the LOTO process.

  • Lockout/Tagout. National Ag Safety Database (NASD) Research Publications-11. Also available as a 49 KB PDF, 2 pages.
  • Lockout/Tagout [212 KB PDF*, 2 pages]. OSHA Fact Sheet, (2002). A Spanish version [49 KB PDF*, 1 page] is also available.
  • Preventing Worker Deaths from Uncontrolled Release of Electrical, Mechanical, and Other Types of Hazardous Energy. US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 99-110, (1999, August).
  • Guidelines for Controlling Hazardous Energy During Maintenance and Servicing [Lockout/Tagout]. US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 83-125, (1983, September).

Lockout/Tagout Program

Example elements of a lockout/tagout (LOTO) program are described in the OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.147, along with these additional references.

Additional Information

Related Safety and Health Topics Pages

Training

  • Small Business Handbook. OSHA Publication 2209-02R, (2005). Also available as a 260 KB PDF, 56 pages.
  • Lockout/Tagout. National Ag Safety Database (NASD). Provides an index to several training videos available through NASD.
  • Rollstock and Sheet Extrusion Machine Safety Training Course. OSHA and the Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. (SPI) Alliance. Contains machine-specific modules on machine guarding and lockout/tagout and helps to identify the types of injuries that can occur while operating an extrusion molding machine and ways to avoid those injuries.
  • Injection Molding Machine Safety Training Course. OSHA and the Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. (SPI) Alliance. Contains machine-specific modules on machine guarding and lockout/tagout and helps to identify the types of injuries that can occur while operating an injection molding machine and ways to avoid those injuries.
  • Roll-fed and Inline Thermoforming Machine Safety Training Course. OSHA and the Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. (SPI) Alliance. Contains machine-specific modules on machine guarding and lockout/tagout and helps to identify the types of injuries that can occur while operating roll-fed and inline thermoforming machines.
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