Safety Advisor Corner: Safety Tips for Lockout/Tagout

Every year, far too many workers in BC are injured due to unexpected equipment energization, start-up, or release of energy.

Incidents where workers are caught-in or struck-by machinery often result in severed fingers, crushed limbs or death. These incidents could be avoided by ensuring that lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedures are developed and followed.

1. Your LOTO program, including procedures, must be specific to the work site and each piece of equipment. Including photos of panels, equipment and specific points help ensure workers complete the procedure correctly and efficiently. These procedures involve removing all sources of energy from the equipment to prevent it from accidental startup.

2. Generic training on LOTO devices and the different types of energy sources complement training on specific procedures. This ensures that workers understand each step of the
process and the risks involved to them and their coworkers.

3. A verification test on equipment is mandatory before work can be performed and could be lifesaving. All procedures should be audited regularly. When it comes to LOTO, a mislabeled
electrical panel or shut-off point is a common near-miss in industry.