When servicing or performing maintenance on equipment or machinery, you must be sure that the equipment can not unexpectedly start up or that hazardous stored energy can be released. How do you do this? The procedure for isolating the energy sources is called lockout/tagout. Lockout/tagout procedures cover the recognition of hazardous energy sources, the location of hazardous energy sources, and the isolation and control of energy sources.
An Introduction to Lockout
Many accidents occur when an employee is servicing equipment. Suddenly, the controls are bumped; the equipment starts; and the gears of the machine catch and pull the employee's arm into the equipment. The employee's arm was crushed. Another example is a worker cleaning the inside of a process tank is scalded by hot water when someone opens the hot water valve to the tank. Can these injuries be avoided? What is not being done to prevent these injuries?