LOTO procedure for minimising risk in repetitive operations
Designing machines to be safe is an obligation. Procedures for safe maintenance, repairs, servicing and cleaning are discretionary. LOTO stands for Lock Out – Tag Out, i.e. locking out and labelling.
In essence, a machine remains potentially dangerous even when shut down. For instance, if a user starts the machine up while the machine is being maintained, a potentially life-threatening situation can arise. To prevent this, a machine can be rendered powerless using the LOTO procedure to ensure no further risk of movement. This ensures the safety of your maintenance and repair personnel at all times.
Does your machine have a lockable main electrical switch? Excellent! But what about pressure accumulators in hydraulic and pneumatic systems? What about kinetic energy? Are acids, alkalis or other hazardous substances present in your machine? Is there a risk of explosion or risk of chemical reactions such as if cleaning with the wrong agent?
To ensure all hazards are excluded and all necessary work on systems can be performed safely, LOTO procedures can be very useful. Furthermore, these procedures also provide much needed assistance in the form of training documentation for instructing new staff members.
Are you unfamiliar with LOTO procedures? We would be happy to assist you or to take care of creating LOTO procedures for you.
Lock Out Tag Out – the procedure originating in the US for the safe isolation of power sources is finding increasing acceptance in Europe too. The reasons for this are the requirements defined in the European directive on the use of work equipment (2009/104/EC). This directive requires employers to provide to staff with only safe operating equipment. These requirements are also reflected in the German Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health (BetrSichV).
Maintenance and repair activities are consequently included under the use of work equipment. To ensure that these activities are also arranged safely, the development, introduction and implementation of the LOTO procedure are useful tools.
Although there presently remains no statutory obligation to introduce the LOTO procedure, it is nevertheless beneficial in fulfilling the statutory requirements of the German Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health (BetrSichV).
US standard 21 CFR 1910.147 of the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) provides a pragmatic approach in this respect. We too follow this standard. From the development of an overall strategy to the training of your staff, we are on side to assist you. A 3-stage plan, comprising analysis, development and introduction of LOTO, has proven a best practice.
CE-CON addresses your requirements and is with you every step of the way.