How Demos Can Help
Long, boring, classrooms are common adjectives that most people use to describe trainings. However, when it comes to lockout/tagout training the last thing an employer wants it to be is boring, because the lives of their workers depend on it.
Authorized Employee Training
Authorized employee training is one of the key components that are required in order to have a successful and compliant lockout/tagout program. Incorporating a training allows for an employer to ensure that their employees fully understand the hazards within the workplace, how to use the lockout/tagout procedures, and how to actually lockout equipment. Although many people learn in different ways, I believe that the most effective way to ensure that an employee understands how to follow a lockout/tagout procedure, is to make them lockout a piece of equipment prior to finishing the training.
Lockout/tagout demos can be used in many different ways, however, the most effective seems to be to make each employee lockout a piece of equipment while the instructor watches to ensure the employee is doing it correctly. Ensure to go over the procedure and the steps to lockout a piece of equipment prior to performing the hands-on portion of the training, then bring a group of a few employees at a time to a piece of equipment that has been approved to be locked out, and watch the employee go thru the steps to perform a lockout. Ensure to give tips and corrections to the employee when a step is missed or something is done incorrectly or inefficiently. Also, be sure that they understand how to dissipate any stored energy that may be in the system.
By allowing the employees to perform an actual real-time lockout on a piece of equipment will help increase their confidence when it comes to locking out equipment. Once the employee does it for the first time and is instructed that they are performing it correctly, they should have a boost in their confidence moving forward. Also, by allowing other employees to watch the demo before and/or after they complete theirs, they will be able to learn for other employee’s mistakes and gather a better understanding for the process.
Hands-on learning is probably the best way to learn lockout/tagout. As previously said, employees can get feedback, learn from other’s mistakes, and become more comfortable with lockout/tagout all in a controlled setting. Therefore, when it comes time to give the annual authorized lockout/tagout training, introduce a demo part of the training. Not only will a demo wake people up, but it is the best way to learn a practice, especially when the practice deals with their own safety.