Do You Have Hidden Hazards in Lock Out Process?

Lock out/tag out procedures are very important! They are detailed and designed to prevent serious injuries or fatalities. It is critical that they be followed exactly. However, there are some important details that are not included in some procedures. 

The last step in the process is or should be the TRY step. Make sure your procedure is LO/TO/TO -- Lock Out/Tag Out/Try Out. The try step is the last step and a very important step!

Some Examples Why:

  • There are many examples where the wrong box is locked out. Several years ago some work was being done on a shredder. A manager stopped by to check on the job and asked the supervisor if things were locked out. The supervisor replied yes and pushed the start button to show the manager.THE WRONG BOX WAS LOCKED OUT- ONE PERSON DIED. A try step would have prevented this tragic event. -- Source - Scott Newell, Chairman – Newell Recycling Equipment,LLC.
  • The attached shows a recall notice on a Square D disconnect.This is always a possibility.Use the try step to prevent injury due to faulty equipment.

But wait, there is another hidden hazard!

  • Some processes have interlocks to shut down or prevent starting equipment until the interlock is satisfied.

Some scrap processing equipment have exclusion zones that prevent people from entering while equipment is operating. In some cases entry gates are equipped with interlocks that shut the process down if the gate is opened. Also sometimes conveyers have guards that are interlocks that shut down the conveyer if the guard is removed

If the equipment has interlocks, it is important to verify that the interlocks are satisfied before doing the try step. It is a good practice to put warnings on lock out boxes indicating that the equipment has interlocks. 

Always include a TRY Step in your lock out process!  It may save a serious injury.

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