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Failure to control hazardous energy during servicing or maintenance activities accounts for nearly 10% of the serious accidents in many industries, according to OSHA. Proper lockout/tagout (LOTO) practices and procedures safeguard workers from the release of hazardous energy.
The principles and requirements for lockout/tagout apply to most employers whose workers perform maintenance on equipment where the uncontrolled release of hazardous energy, such as kinetic, pneumatic, chemical, electrical, or thermal, is possible, or are exposed to such hazards from the maintenance.
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Lockout is the process of turning off and locking out the flow of energy from a power source to a piece of equipment or a circuit, and keeping it locked out. Lockout is accomplished by installing a lockout device at the power source. Lockout is accomplished by installing a lockout device at the power source so that equipment powered by that source cannot be operated.
Tagout is placing a tag on the power source. The tag acts as a warning not to restore energy-it is not a physical restraint. Tags must clearly state: Do Not Start (or Operate). Both lock and tags must be strong enough to prevent unauthorized removal and to withstand various environmental conditions.
Title 8, CCR 3314 applies to any employee cleaning, repairing, servicing, setting-up, unjamming and adjusting of machines, equipment, and prime movers in which the unexpected energization or start up of the machines or equipment, or release of stored energy could cause injury to employee.
OSHA requires that lockout/tagout procedures be in writing for general industry. An energy control program is not required because while 1910.147 and 1910.269 require a program consisting of energy control procedures, employee training, and periodic inspections, they don’t require that program to be in writing.
The documented procedures for the control of hazardous energy must identify the types of energy to be controlled (by magnitude or by type) and must outline the procedures for shutdown, equipment isolation, lockout/tagout device application, release of stored energy, and verification of isolation.