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The lockout / tagout procedures are the most common methodology to carry out the safe isolation of the power sources of the machines and allow to raise the level of safety in the maintenance, ordinary and extraordinary, by controlling dangerous energies.

The essential safety and health protection requirement 1.6.3 of the Machinery Directive 2006/42 / EC requires in fact that all the energy supply sources, which a machine is equipped with, be insulated, so as to be able to carry out interventions in safety.

The ANSI / ASSP Z244.1 standard and OSHA regulation 29 CFR 1910.147 also establish minimum requirements for the control of hazardous energies.

They require employers to develop and implement lockout / tagout programs and procedures applicable to machinery and equipment in their facilities (LOTO).

Definition of Lockout / Tagout (LOTO)

Lockout / Tagout is simply an acronym defined in ANSI / ASSP Z244.1:

  • Lockout: The placing of a lock and tag or an identifiable lock on the energy-isolating device.
  • Tagout: A means to prevent the inadvertent re-energization of machinery or equipment using a tag securely fastened to an energy-isolating device.

Lockout / Tagout procedure

What is a LOTO procedure and what does it apply to?

The lockout / tagout procedures define operating modes for:

  • identify the sources of energy present that can constitute a danger to people;
  • determine the devices to carry out the sectioning of these energy sources;
  • block the disconnecting devices so that the energy cannot be unexpectedly restored;
  • identify any potential accumulated energy (for example elements that remain under pressure even after the isolation of external energy sources) and define the methods for their safe containment or release;
  • define the procedures to ascertain the actual absence of energies that can be released.

The procedures for controlling energy sources apply to all dangerous energy sources present , including, for example, electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, elastic, chemical, thermal energy.

Lockout / Tagout Regulation

In Quadra Srl we develop and provide assistance for the implementation in the company of the lockout / tagout procedures , in compliance with the provisions of the regulations:

  • ANSI / ASSP Z244.1-2016 (R2020) The Control Of Hazardous Energy Lockout, Tagout And Alternative Methods
  • UNI EN ISO 14118: 2018 Safety of machinery - Prevention of unexpected start-up

and OSHA regulation 29 CFR 1910.147.

Example of LOTO Lockout / Tagout procedure

An example of a LOTO procedure consistent with the indications of the ANSI / ASSP Z244.1 standard can be:

  • notify all exhibitors that a LOTO event will take place and for what reason;
  • switch off the machine following the normal shutdown procedure;
  • isolate the power supplies;
  • apply the locking devices of the disconnectors;
  • release or contain potentially dangerous residual stored energy;
  • check that there are actually no residual energies.

Why implement lockout / tagout procedures in the company?

The goal is to raise company safety standards, especially in relation to ordinary and extraordinary maintenance on machinery.

We can help companies achieve this by providing factory assessment of the risks caused by the energy sources of machines and the preparation of related documentation.

Finally, we can instruct, with dedicated training , the machine operators on how to correctly follow the lockout / tagout procedures, before the start of interventions on the machines, to ensure that no dangerous energy is present, whether it comes from external sources or accumulated in machine elements.

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