At ICG, the use of major automated machines is a daily necessity for framing component production. But what happens when a machine needs to be serviced? It must be isolated from energy so it can’t injure anyone. This is when Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) is needed. The lockout process stops any source of energy. Tagging the machine tells all other employees not to operate the machine, and who is solely responsible for the lock placed on the machine. Every employee is trained within two categories, either Authorized Employees or Affected Employees. Only the Authorized Employees are allowed to perform LOTO duties. Affected employees are those who use the equipment that is being repaired. The Affected employees are not allowed to assist in the de-energizing of equipment or the repair unless qualified as an Authorized Employee on that specific piece of equipment.
It is important to have LOTO procedures in place to prevent injury from unexpected energization to the machine or equipment. Affected Employees will be trained in the basics of LOTO to be aware of when a machine cannot be used. They are also trained to be aware of the types of energy. Using OSHA’s guidelines, we train Authorized Employees on each machine’s specific LOTO process to ensure that the machine or equipment is properly de-energized and re-energized. Without these practices, serious harm could come to an employee not familiar with the machine.