In manufacturing environments, workers contend with a variety of hazards including natural gas, steam, and compressed air, as well as dangerous machinery and equipment.

A formal lockout tagout training program increases employee safety and ensure that valuable machinery doesn’t get damaged.

Taken from the educational portion of Simutech’s Troubleshooting Electrical Circuits course, this article looks at the lockout tagout safety procedures and principles behind it.

What is Lockout Tagout?

The lockout tagout standard is a safety procedure used to ensure that electrical machines are properly shut off and not started again during maintenance, servicing, or troubleshooting actions.  

The process ensures that potentially hazardous power sources be “isolated and rendered inoperative” before starting any procedure on the equipment. It is named such as the power source is locked out with a hasp so that it can’t be turned on. 

Most companies think that developing a lockout tag out process is as easy as buying padlocks, and lockout devices. But according to OSHA lockout tagout standards, there is a lot more that goes into developing the right practices and procedures. The most common violations cited by OSHA include:

  1. Failure to develop, document and utilize procedures
  2. Failure to establish and implement a written program
  3. Failure to conduct a periodic inspection of the energy control procedure
  4. Failure to provide training as described by OSHA
  5. Failure to clearly outline the scope and rules to be utilized, and the means to enforce compliance

Additionally, the lockout tagout procedure requires a tag to be attached to the locked device, indicating that it should not be turned on.

Simutech’s Troubleshooting Skills Training System utilizes the Lockout Tagout procedure in all of its simulations. Try your hand, download a demo today.

A TROUBLESHOOTING GUYS IMPORTANT NOTE: The following lists some of the principles associated with lockout tagout. This should not replace corporate guidelines or be considered regulations.

Lockout Tagout Principles

The following illustrates some of the critical principles in Lockout Tagout:

  • Pre-plan for the lockout by identifying all energy sources (electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, or other energy).
  • Where lockout is complex, a written sequence, in checklist form, should be prepared for equipment access, lockout tagout, clearance, release and start-up.
  • All workers affected by the lockout should be notified.
  • Equipment should be shut down by regular means, such as turning off switches and closing valves.
  • Equipment should be isolated from energy sources by disconnecting or blocking the sources of energy.
  • Lockout and tag the energy isolated devices by padlock or some other locking device that the worker has control over, as well as a tag indicating that the equipment has been shut down. 
  • Verify that all energy sources have been isolated by attempting to cycle the equipment before working on it.
  • When work is completed, release the equipment from lockout.
  • Test the equipment.
Required Documentation

Documentation is mandatory after implementing a lockout tagout program. It should include all the procedures for managing the release of stored energy and be readily available to authorized employees who will come into contact with a piece of equipment or system. 

The procedures also need to be kept up to date and protected from environmental damage through lamination or some other protective method. If these procedures are stored electronically, then everyone should have access to a computer or a digital device where they can quickly access the information they need. 

Using Simulations for Lockout Tagout Training

Lockout tagout training is a crucial procedure designed with a worker’s safety in mind. When troubleshooting, there is often pressure to get the problem solved as quickly as possible. 

Don’t let this pressure cause you to take shortcuts or skip any steps in the lockout tagout procedure. The risk isn’t worth it. This is why we have created Simutech’s Troubleshooting Skills Training System’s simulations with the ability to ensure safety by utilizing the lockout tagout procedure.

Learn more about Simutech’s Troubleshooting Skills Training System™ and the courses offered today.

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