What does Lockout Tagout mean?
Lockout Tagout is a term used to describe the process of safe isolation of an energy source, on a machine or electrical equipment prior to carrying our maintenance or cleaning work.
It is done to protect workers against unexpected start up, or energisation of machinery during maintenance, which could cause the worker to be injured or even killed.
After a machine is switched off, the isolation switch is locked off using a padlock, hence 'lockout'.
The padlock and switch then have a tag attached giving information about why it's been locked off, e.g. name of the person who locked it, when it was done, and when the work is likely to be completed. This is the 'tag out' part.
In recent years, the expression 'lockout tagout' has been extended to 'lockout tagout tryout'. Tryout refers to the important, but often overlooked part of 'testing for dead'. This means trying to switch on the equipment that has been locked off. This is done in case isolating switches are incorrectly labelled and the wrong switch is turned off.
Testing for dead can also be done using an electric multi-meter to test for the existence of residual current.
If you're feeling daunted by the prospect of implementing a safe isolation procedure, please call us. It's not especially complicated. We'll help you implement a system that's easy to follow, provides the safe working practices you need, and is compliant with safety regulations.