Lockout/tagout (also called lockout/blockout) means that any
energy source, be it electrical, hydraulic, mechanical or
any other source that may cause unexpected movement, must
be disengaged or blocked, and electrical sources must be de-energized
and locked in the off position. In a U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics survey on injuries related to servicing equipment,
80 percent of workers surveyed failed to turn off the equipment
before performing the service work. There is a difference
between turning off a machine and actually disengaging a piece
of equipment. When turning off a control switch, you are opening
a circuit; however, there is still electrical energy at the
switch, and a short in the switch or someone turning on the
machine may start it running again.
Failure to lock out and block out machinery before working
on it is a major cause of injury and death in California and
the United States. Workers can be electrocuted or lose fingers,
hands, arms, or suffer severe crushing injuries because machinery
is inadvertently turned on while being serviced or maintained.
These injuries can be prevented by establishing an effective
lockout program. An effective lockout/tagout program should
include the following:
inspection of equipment by a trained individual who is thoroughly
familiar with the equipment operation and associated hazards
and labeling of lockout devices
of locks, tags, and blocks
standard written operating procedure that is followed by
Title 8, 3203, CCR requires every employer to initiate and maintain
an accident prevention program.
Article 13, Title 8 CCR 3441 - Operation of Agricultural Equipment
states that every employer shall instruct every employee in
the safe operation and servicing of all equipment in which the
employee will be involved.
CAL/OSHA Components Of A Good Lockout Program
general conditions that require locking out and blocking out
machinery, along with methods of locking out equipment (in English
FELS - Lockout/Tagout. Program to train employees (in
English and Spanish).
National Safety Council (NSC) - Lockout/Tagout booklet.
Machine Safeguarding (NSC) - Alerts workers to machine
hazards and safe operation of machinery. Product #15227-0000.
Available in English or Spanish.
Lockout/Tagout (NSC) - Helps employees control hazardous
energy sources during service and maintenance operations (booklet).
Electrical Equipment Hazards (NSC) - (video) Product
OSHA - Lockout/Tagout - Department of Labor. This video
covers OSHA regulations for the control of hazardous energy
sources while maintenance and service duties are being performed.
Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in
NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in
NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder.