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What’s At Stake
Lockout/tagout/tryout is a simple procedure designed to prevent accidents when working on equipment.
What’s The Danger
Harm will flow in the form of injuries and sometimes fatalities if procedures of lockout/tagout/tryout are not followed.
John was a member of the maintenance department. He was called to perform a repair on a machine in unit 3. John simply turned the machine off, got his tools, removed the necessary guards, and started to work. The job was on the back side of the machinery, away from the control panel. John was doing an outstanding job of repairing the machine, but he forgot the most important component of this job: lockout/tagout/tryout.
How To Protect Yourself
Could the accident with John and Bill been avoided?
Yes. Here’s how.
Lockout/tagout/tryout is a three-part procedure that is designed to protect you from accidental or unexpected start-up of equipment. This procedure serves four important purposes:
- To protect the person working on the equipment.
- To protect other workers in the area.
- To protect the equipment.
- To serve as a communication device for the above three. This is usually done in conjunction with a safe work permit.
The “Lockout” involves the use of a specific lock or locks to isolate equipment from all energy sources. These sources may include air, water, electricity or hydraulic power. Once the shutoff devices have been identified, personal locks are attached to each device.
The “Tagout” requires a specific lockout tag to be completed and attached with each lock that is placed on a device. The complete tag will usually have your lock number, name, department, equipment identification, and reasons why the equipment is down.
The “Tryout” requires that you physically attempt to turn on all power switches and devices once the equipment has been locked out. This is your final check and assurance that the equipment has been isolated from all power sources.
Once the equipment has been isolated and locked out by following the proper steps, no one should be able to start the equipment. They would not be able to do so until you have completed the necessary work and remove your personal locks from each power switch or device.
Lockout/tagout/tryout is a simple procedure that is designed to prevent an accident such as John’s. This procedure is the key to your safety when working on equipment.
Lockout/tagout/tryout requirements will always vary from one facility to the next. If you are unsure about any specific requirements, you should always ask for more information.