Working on or near exposed energized equipment and circuits can be extremely dangerous if safe work practices are not followed. It is critical that employers provide employees with the appropriate training, procedures and lock-out equipment to safely de-energize equipment and circuits before electrical work is done.
Follow these 10 steps to ensure equipment is safely locked out to keep your workers safe.
1. Communicate to employees the importance of lock-out safety. Make sure everyone understands provincial regulations and the importance of following your company’s lock-out program.
2. List all machinery and equipment that require a lock-out procedure for maintenance. Keep equipment in good condition and maintain records to ensure all repairs are up to date.
3. Identify all points of energy to avoid isolating the wrong sources. This includes energies such as mechanical, hydraulic, pressure, electrical and thermal. Communicate these locations in your lock-out procedures.
4. Document hardware required to isolate and lock out each energy source. This documentation should include any required hardware, padlocks, tags and other devices.
5. Ensure all lock-out equipment is organized and accessible. Establish locations for supplies including lock boxes, stations and tools.
6. Identify workers and their lock-out responsibilities. Include who must be aware of lockout, who is affected by lockout and who is authorized to perform lockout.
7. Implement a well-organized and comprehensive lock-out program. Determine how employees will be trained and organize all necessary documentation on safety procedures and practices.
8. Train employees in accordance with their roles in the lock-out process. Instruct, coach and execute proper lock-out procedures. Post training guides, warning signs and safety reminders where needed in your facility.
9. Maintain your lock-out program. It’s important to update equipment and energy information to ensure it’s always current as well as check your inventory regularly to ensure lock-out supplies are in stock.
10. Continually train new employees and hold refresher training for long-term workers. Keep lock-out safety in the forefront of employees’ minds and keep them up to date on lock-out procedures as they are changed or updated.
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