Proper machine lockout to prevent disaster already poses a challenge for one person. Add more people in the equation, and human error will occur.
Group lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedures are complicated. Since it includes more people, miscommunication may put the workplace in danger. To prevent machinery-related accidents, regular practise of lockout/tagout techniques is necessary.
Apart from having the proper LOTO products, you need to prioritise proper preparation; otherwise, group lockout programs will fail.
Extra Yet Unprepared Set of Hands
Some companies prefer to implement solo lockout procedures due to unprepared employees participating in group assignments. Why ask other people to mind the locks and valves when one will suffice?
Simple jobs still benefit from extra pairs of hands and preparation still matters. When unprepared employees participate, there’s a risk of the originator’s lock blocking members of the group. Removing the locks of each isolation point offers more room for protection, but it will take time.
Instead of dealing with a snake of hands and locks, each isolation point should have a group lock, which you secure more with a personal hasp. This enables other members to lock the system without worries.
If your business calls for frequent group LOTO activities, train them for coordination. This can be difficult to achieve, especially if you work with a mixed group. With enough patience, however, it is achievable.
Start by appointing a lockout leader who will manage machine-related procedures. Also, it helps to have group lock boxes that come with individual identifications. The group should also have keyed-alike locks. The lockout leader must secure each boxed-key set and apply the personal lock to ensure no movement from the machines.
The To-Do List
Seamless group LOTOs begin with a good plan. Start by reviewing the Ministry of Manpower’s safety on lockout procedures as a basis for the written programme. Your plan should meet the machine’s specifications and the process’ needs. Workers involved should also have enough training and knowledge on lockout procedures.
Routine inspections also ensure the group performs well. Should you spot areas for improvement, hold training and encourage participation.