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Does your lock-out programme have these essential three elements?

by , 11 February 2014
Do you have a lock-out programme in your workplace? If so, make sure it has the following three essential elements...

If you use machinery in your workplace, you must have a lock-out programme.

Why?

Well, as we explain in this article, 'the unexpected operation or activation of machinery or equipment can cause serious injury to people working on the machinery.'

That's why it's essential you develop a lock-out programme that includes the following elements:

Three elements of a lock-out programme

Your lock-out programme must include:

  1. A written policy;
  2. Specific procedures; and
  3. Rules and supervisory follow-up.

The Health & Safety Advisor explains that your programme must cover the positive locking of switches and valves to ensure that maintenance, set-up or other work is done safely.

The procedure that's commonly recognised for this purpose is the 'lockout' system.

Keep in mind that a lock-out system isn't only placing a padlock on an electrical switch.

It includes all the logical precautions needed to ensure the equipment is totally safe or in a state of 'zero energy potential'.

You only achieve this state when you isolate and block all sources of kinetic and potential energy to such an extent that no energy will be released unexpectedly.

So tell your employees to ensure all the controls are in the OFF or CLOSED position to avoid unexpected start-up.

If you don't have a lock-out procedure in your company, we recommend you check out this article. It contains the basic steps to the lock-out procedure –PRE, MID and POST. And when you do training on lock-out, cover the following.

Now that you know the three elements of a lockout programme, make sure you comply to help keep your employees safe when working on machinery.

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