Most organizations have at least an adequate lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedure in place to address workplace safety. While machine-specific LOTO procedures are not only essential but required by OSHA, certain details must also be evident. Employers that don’t have fully compliant machine-specific procedures (MSP) in place are in danger of receiving a citation from OSHA. In fact, this lack of specificity and missing documentation are the most common reasons for an employer to be in violation of OSHA LOTO standards.
Citations can be issued by OSHA for a LOTO procedure that is not easily understood by servicing employees, such as one that is:
- Too vague and not machine-specific
- Does not detail how to safely shut down the equipment or block the energy source
- Does not list specific steps for installation or removal of lockout devices
- Fails to list the ways in which an employee would verify the machine’s zero-energy status
There is some degree of flexibility within the MSP criteria, however. OSHA does permit employers to create one set of MSP if a group of machines all have the same hazardous energy source and the same techniques for managing that energy.
In addition, if contracted workers are part of the staff at a company and they work on projects covered by LOTO, both the contractor and the business employer must share their LOTO procedures. If there is a third-party vendor providing LOTO services, the employer must be sure that all employees understand and follow the vendor’s LOTO procedures.
ESC Services prides itself on being one of the best in the industry. If an efficient, secure and productive operation is important to your company, contact us! We’ll use our proven techniques and patented LOTO products to help you achieve your goals!