There are a few rules in business and industry that are golden mantras to live by. First, the pursuit of profit is always a noble venture. Second, pursuing that profit at the expense of angering OSHA is never worth it. If there were a mantra that trumped both of prior, it would be that unnecessarily risking the live of your employees in the pursuit of profit is never worth it. There are risky jobs, to be sure, but casually treating employee safety like another line item expenditure has both moral and business implications. Here at Idesco Safety, we’ve made both the business decisions the passionate American entrepreneur has to make and the safety of our fellow Americans paramount. There is an economical way to ensure that a machine isn’t charged with energy when lives are at the risk and that also makes OSHA happy. Introducing the Peel-N-Stick P-Tag and the Self-Laminated Q-Tag.
Safety Foundation International (EDFI) has designated May as National Electrical
Safety Month. On average, there are more than 300 deaths and over 4,000
injuries per year caused by Electrical Hazards in workplaces here in the United
States. Over 60% of the injuries are due to electric shock, the remainder
caused by electric burns. Electric shock is caused by either direct or indirect
contact with a conductive part that is energized. Electrical arcing, explosions
or fire result in burns. Toxic gases released as a result of fire as well as
the burning of electrical equipment often leads to severe illness or death.
A number of various chemicals, hot or cold water as well as
steam can cause serious injury to a worker performing maintenance. According to the OSHA regulation 1910.147, “The
Control of Hazardous Energy” (Lockout/Tagout) all sources of energy to include,
hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical and thermal must be locked out during a
maintenance operation. To help satisfy that requirement, devices have been
developed to insure that both liquids and gases are securely locked out.
Within the OSHA Lockout:Tagout regulation, 1910.147 is this prominent
Definition of an Energy Isolating Device: A mechanical device that physically
prevents the transmission or release of energy, including but not limited to
the following: A manually operated electrical circuit breaker; a disconnect
switch; a manually operated switch by which the conductors of a circuit can be
disconnected from all ungrounded supply conductors and, in addition no pole can
be operated independently; a line valve; a block and any similar device used to
block or isolate energy. Push buttons, selector switches and other control
circuit type devices are not energy isolating devices. This has led to a myriad
of circuit breaker lockout solutions. Factories throughout the United States,
in fact the world, now have a variety of lockout solutions for their single
pole and multi-pole circuit breakers.
Often times electrical equipment being used in a factory operation may suddenly shut down. This may be due to an internal power malfunction, a local power plant problem, a sudden jam in a gear, just to name a few. When this type of unintentional shut down takes place, it is extremely important to insure that the equipment does not suddenly start up again. Such an event may catch employees by surprise and lead to a serious accident. The Sensing Saf-Start device automatically “opens” the circuit once there is a sudden power loss. The circuit will remain “open” as long as the equipment power switch is “on.” Once the power switch is turned “off”, the Sensing Saf-Start device will then close the circuit. At that point, with everyone aware that the equipment can now be safely restarted, the power switch can be turned “on” and normal operation resumed.
In September of 1989, The OSHA Lockout:Tagout Regulation CFR1910.147 went into effect. It clearly stated that equipment being serviced had to be completely shut down and had to be both "Locked Out" and "Tagged Out" (with the tag firmly attached to the lock) clearly identifying the person or persons involved in that servicing operation. Furthermore, to insure the tag could not inadvertently slip off, tear off or somehow be removed from the padlock, both the tag and the device used to attach it to the padlock had to be strong enough to "pull" 50 pounds. And thus, the LockWrap(R) Padlock Label was created. The LockWrap acts as a tag and is wrapped securely around the padlock and cannot be removed.
(c) (5)(i) of Lockout Regulation CFR 1910.147 states that Locks, tags, chains,
wedges, key blocks, adapter pins, self-locking fasteners, or other hardware
shall be provided by the employer for isolating, securing or blocking of
machines or equipment from energy sources. Fuse holders and fuse panels are
types of energy systems that are difficult to lockout. In order to satisfy the
OSHA rule, devices have been devised that “blockout and “latchout” these energy
sources. These devices keeps the electrical energy systems “OPEN” with no way
for electrical energy to be reconnected. However, as there is no latch on these
devices, there not be a padlock to insure that these devices will not be
industrial zones and factories, employers are required by law to establish and
implement a lockout/tagout program as mandated by OSHA. Workers performing
service or maintenance on machinery and equipment may be exposed to injuries
from the unexpected energy start up of the machinery or equipment, or release
of stored energy in the equipment. The purpose of this program is to raise
awareness of workplace safety and prevent accidents and injuries from occurring
on the job.
Proper Padlock Keying for Lockout:Tagout
The OSHA Lockout:Tagout regulation CFR1910.147 states
that Lockout Device is: A device that utilizes a positive means such as a lock,
either key or combination type, to hold an energy isolating device in the safe position
and prevent the energizing of a machine or equipment
usually combined with a specific type of lockout device such as a circuit
breaker lockout or gate valve lockout insure that machinery cannot be in
operation during a lockout:tagout situation. In fact a lockout:tagout operation
will not begin until all machinery and equipment involved is locked out by the
appropriate device and the appropriate lock.
basically 3 ways that padlocks are configured for Lockout:Tagout operations.
Padlocks can be set up “Keyed Alike.” In this situation
more than one padlock being used has the same key set to open the locks Padlocks
can be set up “Keyed Differently.” In this situation a number of padlocks being
used have different key sets. So only a key for a specific padlock will open only
that padlock and no other. Padlocks can also be set up to be “Master Keyed.” In
this case, one or more persons, perhaps the supervisors will a key that will
open many if not all padlocks being used, regardless of whether they are keyed
alike or keyed differently.
A lockout hasp is used when more than one employee is involved in a lockout:tagout operation. These employees work in a group on the same energy source. The hasps allow multiple padlocks to be used when isolating one energy source such as a piece of machinery or a power switch. The lockout hasp is placed through a latch on the machinery to be locked out and each person carrying out maintenance or service work attaches their padlock through one of the six openings within the lockout hasp. All of the padlocks are then locked.
provides the ultimate protection for mass-produced safety tags. Idesco Safety has
a wide selection of OSHA approved laminated safety tags designed to withstand
tough, dirty and greasy conditions. The durable polyester laminate resists water, grease and extreme
temperatures. These laminated safety tags are easy to use. Simply attach these custom
safety tags to machines, equipment and other devices to warn of dangers and
Lockouts are also known as “tag outs,” and hence the term
lockout/tag out is often seen in tandem. A lockout/tag out refers to a
procedure whereby a company assigns an individual to shut down power and
disconnect all equipment and machinery from its primary energy source. The
reason for doing so is in an emergency when becoming necessary to prevent the
unexpected activation of that machinery as a means to protect workers and
employees. The assigned employee then activates the energy-isolation (lockout/tag
out) devices in a safe or “off” position.
Employees can find themselves at risk of a serious injury or death if the machine they operate starts up unexpectedly or releases stored but hazardous energy. It is the sole responsibility of employers to address safety issues that concern the safety of the employees, especially when handling with dangerous equipment.
Procedures and standards must be in place to disable machinery and prevent the release of perilous energy while maintenance and servicing a machine. These measures may include the use of a multi-step startup procedure, time delays, or audible warnings. In such relatively uncommon situations, lockout/tagout requirements do not apply. However, such alternative precautions must be carefully evaluated for their effectiveness in light of the configuration of the machinery, the reliability of the alternative measures, employee training, and other factors.