Commonly asked questions and answers regarding Lockout-Tagout or Lock and Tag.
What does one lock/one person mean?
A basic premise of lockout is that each person exposed or potentially exposed to a known hazard installs a lockout device on the source of the hazardous energy, resulting in one lockout per person.
Is it necessary to audit the lockout/tagout procedure?
Yes. Employers can determine whether workers are implementing the lockout/tagout procedure or whether the procedure is effective only by auditing a lockout/tagout in progress. An effective audit provides information about both the procedure and the state of training. In every instance, the manner in which workers are expected to apply lockout/tagout to their work station, area, or task must be committed to writing and made available to all employees. Unless the procedure is in writing, each worker will have a different understanding of the requirements. training on the procedure will also help ensure that workers share an understanding of the requirements.
What does in-control energy mean?
As used when discussing lockout, the term in control means that a disconnecting means is physically restrained from operating. Normally, a lock is used to ensure that a workers I in control of potentially hazardous energy.
Is tagout as safe as lockout?
No. In transmission circuits, tagout is the only viable option, and transmission utilities implement effective alternative. However, in all other instances lockout provides maximum safety.
What is the best practice for lockout-tagout?
Lockout is the best practice. Some employers tens to use tagout as the primary energy control system. They suggest that some equipment has no means to install a lock. Therefore, they revert to closing valves or opening disconnecting means and then install tags without locks. Tags can fall off and land on the floor, and they are sometimes misused. Some workers also place less importance in the tags’ value. On the other hand, locks will stay in place. When properly installed, locks will prevent a valve or switch handle from moving.
The utility industry has used tagout successfully for many years. However, the key to the success seems to be related to the dedication of dispatchers. With due respect to the success related to transmission and distribution lines, installing both locks and tags is the best option.
What is a person in charge?
In most instances, when lockout/tagout failure occurs and someone in injured, the root cause of the problem was ineffective or inadequate communication. It is therefore necessary to have a person in charge. When a single person is assigned the responsibility and held accountable to ensure that all sources of energy are and remain under control, the problem of inadequate or incomplete communication disappears.
What is a simple lockout?
A simple lockout is when equipment is supplied from a single source of energy and a single work crew is involved with the work task. Controlling the source of energy is simple: a single disconnecting means and a single lockout device.
What is individual employee control?
In some instances, a task must be performed with in the enclosure that contains the disconnecting means. Frequently, any lock would swing away with the door. In other instances, the door cannot be opened with a lockout device installed. In these instances, the existence of a lock is moot. However, the worker must close and latch the door if he or she finds it necessary to leave the location for any reason. If the work task is not complete when the worker finds it necessary to leave the work location, he or she must employ simple lockout.