"Control of Hazardous Energy” is paramount on any site, it is important that an established site procedure is in place. The procedure will ensure that a lock or tag is placed on an energy-isolating device indicating that the device is not to be operated until the removal of the lock or tag. The removal of the lock or tag must also adhere to an established site policy.
Lockout therefore is the isolation of energy from the system (a machine, equipment, or process) which physically locks the system in a safe mode.
Tag out is then the labelling process that is always used when lockout is required. The process of tagging out a system involves attaching or using an indicator (usually a standardised label) that includes the following information:-
· Why the lockout is required (repair, maintenance, etc…)
· Time of application of the lock.
· The name of the authorised person who attached the lock to the system.
One person, one lock
If more than one person is working on the same plant, each person should attach their own lock to an isolation device to prevent the isolator being opened before all locks have been removed or opened. The isolation procedure should identify common lock out points to ensure energy cannot be restored while someone is still working on the plant.
To avoid the need for multiple locks on each lockout point, a group lock box will often be used. Group lockout boxes are a great solution for isolating energy points when a large team is working. Using a group lockout box allows you to dramatically reduce the amount of locks required on a job, limit weight on each energy point by eliminating fasteners, plus it provides a quick overview of who is still working without going to each energy point.
Under this system each lockout point is locked by only one lock and the keys to the locks of the plant's lockout points are placed inside a box, which is locked by all the individual locks of people working on the same plant. As each worker's task is completed, he or she removes their own personal lock. When all locks have been removed, an authorised site supervisor verifies all workers are out of danger before reactivating power supplies or equipment.
There are many options available when it comes to group lock boxes and their sizes. Currently Cirlock stock options from 16 to 84 padlock holes, also in varying designs to suit the needs of the job. Larger group lock boxes also include storage hooks for padlocks when not in use and instruction holders can be fitted to some models.
Group lock boxes play an important part in site safety and efficiency. Now with even a custom made option available there are no excuses for compromising site safety and all employees can be kept safe using the most up to date equipment to enforce the most stringent procedures on your site.
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