Question: What does an effective Lockout Tagout procedure entail?
Every successful lockout/tag out procedure depends on the participation of the employees. Therefore, before you implement any of it ensure your personnel understand what is expected of them. You can achieve this through proper training and inspections. Here is how you should go about it;
There are two types of personnel whose involvement makes the tagout/logout procedures a success - the authorized employees and the affected employees. Both of these employees should be provided with adequate training for successful lockout/tag-out procedures.
The authorized employee who is responsible for the maintenance of the machinery should be trained on how to identify hazardous energy sources and the proper way to ensure those energy sources are isolated. They should should be well versed with the energy control program.
On the other hand, the affected employee is the one that is meant to use the vehicle that is under maintenance. The training provided should give them a proper understanding of the procedures being used, how they are applied and the significance of the whole process to their safety.
Proper documentation of the training provided to the employees should be made with details like their names and training dates included. Whenever their work environment changes they should be taken through retraining.
Review and Inspection
Even after the training has been done a lot of care should be taken to establish the effectiveness of the energy control procedures on the affected equipment.
The inspection should seek to find out if the set down guidelines are being followed. It should also establish how efficient the procedures address the different energy sources. Since employees are also crucial to the process, the inspection should analyze and gauge their understanding and execution of the outlined procedures.
After every inspection, steps should be taken to ensure that the necessary problems observed are addressed satisfactorily. For instance, a newer more efficient procedure should be developed or the employees retrained to update their skills.
The person doing the inspection should neither be an affected or authorized employee when it come to the concerned equipment. However, the person doing the inspection must do so in the presence of both the affected and the authorized personnel.
Proper documentation of the inspection should be made and should include details of the person doing the inspection, the employees present, the equipment and date of inspection.
Therefore, since lock out/ tag out procedures are meant to protect employees their involvement is crucial. They should be provided with training to understand the procedures used and periodic inspections done to gauge the effectiveness of these procedures on overall safety.
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