Lock It, Tag It, and Try It
If you operate, clean, service, adjust, or repair machinery and equipment, be aware of the hazards to which you’re exposing yourself. Any powered equipment that could put you in danger is a hazard that can be prevented when lockout/tagout/tryout procedures are followed. Before working on or near energized equipment, visually inspect the work area to identify energy sources. Go through every step of the process to make sure accidental equipment activation won’t take you by surprise. If you identify an energy source, follow appropriate lockout/tagout/tryout procedures. Never touch or operate power-activated equipment unless you’ve been trained and are authorized to do so. Never touch anything that is locked or tagged unless you’re responsible for working on it and are sure the power is disconnected.
Failure to lock out or tag power sources on equipment can result in electrocutions, amputations, and other serious, sometimes fatal, accidents.
Lockout-tagout-tryout is a three-part procedure designed to protect you from accidental or unexpected start-up of equipment.
This procedure serves four important purposes:
To protect the person working on the equipment;
To protect other workers in the area;
To protect the equipment; and
To serve as a communication device for the above three–this is usually done in conjunction with a safe work permit.
The “lockout” involves the use of a specific lock or locks to isolate equipment from all energy sources. These sources may include air, water, electricity or hydraulic power. Once the shutoff devices have been identified, personal locks are attached to each device.
The “tagout” requires a specific lockout tag to be completed and attached with each lock that is placed on an isolation device. The completed tag will usually have your lock number, name, department, equipment identification, and reason why the equipment is down.
The “tryout” requires that you physically attempt to turn on all power switches and devices once the equipment has been locked out. This is your final check and assurance that the equipment has been isolated from all power sources. Once the equipment has been isolated and locked out by following the proper steps, no one should be able to start the equipment. They would not be able to do so until you have completed the necessary work and removed your personal locks from each power switch or device.
Most common causes of accidents:
The machine or piece of equipment was not completely shut off before a maintenance or repair operation.
The machine was turned on accidentally, either out of carelessness or because the person who turned it on didn’t realize that another worker was there and could get hurt.
The machine wasn’t working correctly but wasn’t fixed, turned off, locked, or tagged and someone who didn’t know about the problem used it.
Moving equipment wasn’t blocked.
- Safety procedures were inadequate or hadn’t been properly explained.
How to prevent accidental injury from moving machinery:
Identify all jobs and equipment that require lockout of power sources.
Post warning signs wherever possible to indicate that lockout is required.
Develop written procedures explaining how lockout is to be done.
Train all personnel in the lockout procedures for their particular job and offer periodic refresher training.
Allow no deviation from the written policies and procedures.
Use engineering and administrative controls as much as possible to eliminate the need for lockout.
- Test the energy after you believe it to be isolated.
o This is one of the most over looker steps and probably the most important. Employees think they have isolated the energy at the source, but it hasn’t been for one reason or another.
o Perform regular maintenance to prevent malfunctioning equipment.
Locking, tagging, and trying out is required whenever an employee is required to remove or bypass a guard or safety device or when an employee places a part of his body into an area that would be a danger zone during a machine operation cycle.
If in doubt…Lock it out, tag it out, and try it out!!
Download flyer: SMOTW_314_LockIt_TagIt_TryIt.pdf (121.94 kb)
Download Spanish flyer: SMOTW_314_esp_LockIt_TagIt_TryIt.pdf (118.04 kb)