Under the Occupation Health And Safety Act (OHSA), employers in Ontario where so prescribed have a duty to take reasonable precautions regarding Lockout Tagout of equipment. Training involves providing information, instruction, and supervision to workers on proper procedures for specific equipment that may endanger a worker due to uncontrolled hazardous energy.
What is Lockout Tagout ?
Energy sources that are hazardous and that may cause injury to workers need to be locked out and tagged to prevent inadvertent exposure of workers to the hazardous energy.
What is a Lockout Tagout Procedure?
Lockout means isolating hazardous energy using a lockable, energy-isolating device that is connected to a piece of equipment/device to prevent inadvertent start-up.
A Tag is used in conjunction with a lock to inform other workers of the reason for the lockout. Typically a tag will include:
- Reason for the lockout
- Person who applied the lock
- Date and time that the lock was applied
By properly shutting down equipment, locking out energy to the energy-isolating source, and by providing addition information and reasoning for the Lockout, workers ensure their own safety and the safety of those around them.
What Is A Simple Equipment Lockout Tagout?
When simple equipment and their energy sources need a Lockout procedure, the employers, supervisors and all employees need to follow instructions and principles including:
- Pre-planning for the Lockout Tagout by identifying all energy sources, switches, etc.
- Notifying all workers that will be affected by the procedure or work in the area, that the procedure is taking place
- Shutting down equipment through regular means by turning off switches, closing valves, etc.
- Equipment must be isolated from energy courses by disconnecting or blocking out the sources of energy
- Lockout and Tagout the energy isolating devices by padlock or another locking device that has been issued by the employer that meet OHSA requirements
- Each authorized employee must have their own locking equipment that they are in charge of placing and removing
- Each locking device that is in place, must have a tag indicating why the equipment has been shut down, and include the name of the authorized personnel, and they began the Lockout Tagout
- Verify that all energy sources have been isolated in the shut down procedure by attempting to cycle the equipment or device prior to working/performing maintenance on it
- When work/maintenance is completed, the authorized worker may unlock and untag the equipment.
- Testing all the equipment once the procedure is completed to ensure that the energy source is properly running and the maintenance was successful
What is a Complex Lockout and Tagout?
Employers may need to create machine specific placards for equipment or processes that are more complicated. If the Lockout Tagout is complex, additional written information must be provided on a placard form that is prepared to include equipment access, Lockout Tagout clearance, release, and start-up. The machine-specific placard is a very effective means of ensuring that complicated equipment or processes can be safely locked out.
Training on Lockout Tagout in Ontario
Lockout Tagout Training is a requirement for any workers who are dealing with equipment and energy sources that are potentially dangerous.
As An Employer…
You should ensure that workers know which energy sources may need to be controlled during a Lockout Tagout procedure. You need to ensure that each employee has been given the proper training and maintain a record of training dates so that regular training and re-training sessions are noted. Not only should training include how to perform a Lockout Tagout, but it should also provide information on each machine’s structure, equipment relating to the machine, proper shutdown processes, isolation processes, where the devices and kept, how to control the energy-isolating device, and how to verify each step of the process.
Make sure you are also performing yearly inspections on machinery and keeping up to date with the Lockout Tagout program.
As An Employee…
You must attend your Lockout Tagout Training session. You should have knowledge of each piece of machinery, their energy sources, and how to perform a safe shut down of equipment and power, a Lockout Tagout procedure, and a safe re-start of equipment and power. Having the knowledge and hands on training for procedures can prevent thousands of injuries across the province each year.