Thermoplastic padlocks are designed exclusively to satisfy CFR 1910.147 Lockout:Tagout regulations. They are durable, lightweight and are non-conductive. Thermoplastic is an excellent insulator preventing the flow of electricity. Static electric charges can remain in equipment even after the equipment has been shut down. Using thermoplastic padlocks for lockout:Tagout use means that the padlocks can be used around heat or electrical equipment with little concern that electronic sparking will occur. In addition, the key retaining feature insures the padlock will not remain unlocked. The key cannot be removed while the padlock is open. A very important fact when equipment is being repaired and lockout procedures are in place.
The padlocks utilize a pin tumbler mechanism. With this type of lock, the length of each of the top pins is the same. The length of each of the bottom pins is different. The length of each of the bottom pins must correspond to the length of the corresponding cuts of the correct key used to open the padlock. The Thermoplastic padlocks have a 6-pin tumbler cylinder. This makes the lock very difficult to “pick”, providing added security. When an incorrect key is inserted into the lock, the key cuts and “driver” pins will not align in the “plug” which contains the bottom set of pins. So the incorrect key will not rotate and the lock will not open. When the correct key is inserted, the pins align. The bottom pins press against the top ones forcing them up into the cylinder. The “plug” will rotate and the padlock will open.
Thermoplastic padlocks are available in 8 colors so that they can be used in group lockout situations in which several types of maintenance operations are being performed on the same equipment at the same time. So electricians, mechanics, carpenters, plumbers and outside contractors can coordinate their operations. The colors available are red, yellow, blue, orange, black, teal and purple. The padlocks also include write on labels in English, French and Spanish with the statement: DANGER, Locked Out, Do Not Remove.