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Essential Lock Out/ Tag Out Procedure Writing

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Working on a crane rail, bridge or runway system has it challenges, having to worry if it will start and suddenly move when being maintained is something that no one should have to have on their minds when working from that height.  Even the energy source from a hot rail when working below can be fatal to if contact is made.   Diversified Fall Protection has been the leader when it comes to installing fall protection on crane rail, bridges and runway systems, and many other fall protection systems.  Each install may differ, but the same applies to them all, following OSHA regulations to ensure everyone comes home safe each and every day.  Before each install can take place, our certified installers will work with the safety teams at the facility to review and implement their Lock out/Tag out procedure.

What is Lock out/Tag out you ask? OSHA states “Lockout/tagout” refers to specific practices and procedures to safeguard employees from the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities.   Within OSHA regulation 29 CFR 1910.147, OSHA requires employers to follow and enforce safety procedures when workers are involved in or around work on machines or equipment that may start unexpectedly and injure nearby individuals.  To prioritize worker safety, this regulation exists to eliminate any unexpected startups.  With more than 3000 reported incidents, OSHA ranked Lockout/Tagout as their #5 most violated regulation at the end of 2018.

One of the most important part of a Lock Out/Tag Out (LOTO) process is to have documented procedures for workers who are actively working with machines or any equipment where LOTO should be used.  The procedures should include rules, purpose, scope, authorization and techniques to be used.  It is also very crucial to have a plan to enforce these procedures.  When building your procedures, the following should be included:

  • Purpose and use of the procedure
  • Step by step process to shut down, secure and isolate the machine
  • Steps for placing, removing and transferring LOTO devices
  • Requirements for testing each machine or equipment to validate effectiveness of LOTO devices
  • Listing of what the LOTO devices include.
  • Identification of each LOTO device
  • Standardizing the devices within the company including size, shape or color, as well as the format for each LOTO device
  • Must be able to withstand the working environment, as well as varying weather conditions
  • LOTO devices must be easy to operate
  • Clearly readable tags that allow knowledge of who is currently using the device
  • Defined warning hazards that could take place if the machine or equipment should regain energy
  • Have a schedule to routinely inspect devices and check LOTO procedures to stay within compliance
  • Employee training and communication of LOTO procedures and hazards should be continuous and not limited to new job assignments, new hazards that present themselves or when there are changes to procedures to new energy control

When you combine an installed Diversified Fall Protection safety system with your safety procedures, you are mitigating the effects of a fall from height. For more information or assistance on Lock out/Tag out and fall protection systems please contact us.

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It is the responsibility of the employer to provide a safe, OSHA compliant work environment for all workers?