What Is Lockout/Tagout?
Because many different kinds of machinery can produce unanticipated electrical shock when turned on, service and maintenance workers require guidelines for how to help reduce the likelihood of such hazards occurring. Lockout/tagout provides some protocol for handling these situations. According to the Department of Labor, more than 3 million workers are at risk of injury if these proper procedures are not being utilized. If every employer followed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) lockout/tagout standards (29 CDF 1910.147), around 120 deaths and 50,000 injuries could be avoided every year.
According to OSHA, employers should offer at-risk employees various gear to act as a buffer between gear and possible sources of electrocution:
Tagout gear must be manufactured from extremely durable materials. Lockout equipment must also be able to endure demanding environments. All lockout/tagout equipment should identify the following:
- The employee who applied the device
- Estimated time of completion
- Basic instructions like “Do Not Open” or “Do Not Start” etc.
Learn more about lockout/tagout regulations.