The governing body behind lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedures - the Occupational Safety and Health Administation (OSHA) - holds an organisation responsible for ensuring that a clearly-defined lockout/tagout procedure is followed to ensure the safety of those carrying out repairs and servicing. Their guidance states that you must:
- Develop, implement and enforce an energy control program
- Use lockout devices where appropriate to fully secure an energy source. Only where a lockout device isn't suitable can tagout be used, and the level of protection must be equivalent to that of a lockout.
- Ensure that new/overhauled equipment is fully capable of being locked out during maintenance periods
- Develop, implement and enforce a tagout program which can be used when lockout isn't possible
- Develop, implement and enforce energy control procedures
- Any lockout devices used must be suitable for use on the device you're locking out. For example, a valve lockout could not be used on a MCB and be expected to be fully secure.
- Lockout/tagout devices must identify the individual users. This can be done by tagging, or by attaching individually tagged padlocks.
- A policy must be enforced that means only the person who locked out an energy source can remove it. No one else should do so
- Inspect energy control procedures regularly, or at least annually
- Relevant training must be provided to any employees carrying out lockout/tagout
- Comply with OSHA standard to ensure that outside contractors, those caryring out group lockouts and shift and personnel changes are fully aware of the correct LOTO procedures
*Please note OSHA is an American governing body. There may be other LOTO procedures to follow dependant on your location.