Anyone who operates, cleans, services, adjusts, or repairs machinery or equipment should be aware of the hazards associated with that machinery. Any powered machinery or electrical equipment that can move in a way that would put people in danger is a hazard that can be prevented by following locking or tagging procedures. Failure to lock out or tag out power sources on equipment can result in electrocution, amputation, and other serious and sometimes fatal accidents.
What are the most common causes of these accidents?
• The machine or piece of equipment was not completely shut off before a maintenance or repair operation. Not only must the machine be turned off but also the power source that goes to it must be disconnected.
• 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 or parts were not blocked.
• Safety procedures were inadequate or had not been properly explained.
Remember the dangers and be on your guard around any machinery and moving equipment. Even if you don’t operate the machinery, you could get caught in it and injured if it is not properly disconnected. So what can you do 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 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.
• Perform regular maintenance to prevent malfunctioning equipment.
Be aware of your personal safety and the safety of others when working with or around moving equipment and machinery. Always follow proper lockout and tagout procedures, even for a quick and minor repair!
Recommended videos from our library: Danger If You Don’t, Safety Training for Repair Technicians, Thinking Through Safety: The Job Safety & Health Analysis
Contact OMAG Loss Control Services if you have questions or suggestions for other topics related to Municipal Workplace Safety Issues. 1(800) 234-9461 oremail kprichard@OMAG.org.