With the increasing prevalence of health and safety, Reece Safety provides some top tips to introduce or improve your waste lock-out tag-out programme.

Ensuring that dangerous machines are properly shut off once work is complete is extremely important in a range of different industries. One safety procedure that has been particularly efficient at guaranteeing that machines are unable to restart prior to the completion of work is lock- out tag-out (LOTO).

Put simply, the machine in question is locked and a tag is placed on the lock identifying the worker who placed it. The worker then holds the key for the lock ensuring that only he or she can remove the lock and start the machine.

To keep this procedure as up to date and therefore as safety conscious as possible, there are some things you should consider:

“In order for LOTO procedures to be effective, they need to be correctly

implemented, and consistent across the workplace.”

array of potential products. In this instance, it’s true that knowledge is power. It’s important to know exactly what you need, in order to ensure both cost effectivity, and complete safety satisfaction.

Start by making a list of every piece of machinery that needs a LOTO product, this will help with the purchasing aspect. If you’re still unsure on exactly what you need, Reece Safety offers a complete review, free of charge.

Keep LOTO procedures efficient It’s important to remember that, in order for LOTO procedures to be effective, they need to be correctly implemented, and consistent across the workplace. It’s important to keep access to tools and equipment directly to hand, as this reduces the risk of safety processes being relaxed, or not followed properly.

It is often observed that in a workplace, if something is not easily accessible, it is more likely to be forgotten about. Therefore, it is paramount that the appropriate equipment, and the correlating instructions, are to hand for each piece of machinery in order to eliminate excuses when it comes to following safety procedure.

Have a designated safety team As per LOTO guidelines, training should be implemented annually as a minimum. It’s important that each and every member of staff knows their role, and if it is their duty to implement these procedures. The easiest way to do this is to have a designated trained safety team, be it team leaders or specific members of staff. Designated members of staff must also be made clear to the rest of the team, communication is paramount when it comes to safety. This particular system means that only designated LOTO implementers can place and remove LOTO devices to avoid any confusion.

Constantly strive for improvement Document everything. Recording exactly what types of training members of staff have had, and when is important to keep on top of LOTO knowledge. That way any gaps in training can be fixed quickly and effectively. It’s also important to document the success of the safety procedures.

Purchase the right products The effectiveness of a lock-out tag-out procedure depends strongly on how appropriate the devices you choose are. Because of the broad nature of the types of machinery that may require a LOTO device, there are also a vast


How smoothly does it run? Have there been any incidents? If so when, how and, most importantly, why did this happen? It’s important to constantly revisit safety procedures to keep them up to date and to let them evolve as the industry and its guidelines evolve. After all, safety in the workplace is paramount, and everything that can possibly be done to ensure this, should be.

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