Demystifying Lockout Tagout : Finding the right device for the job

Demystifying Lockout Tagout : Finding the right device for the job

January 16, 2024

Lockout tagout (LOTO) procedures are the cornerstone of worker safety in industrial settings, ensuring hazardous energy sources are isolated during maintenance or repair. But choosing the right LOTO device is key to support your workplace safety practices.

Understanding the Landscape

LOTO devices come in various shapes and sizes, each suited for specific energy sources and equipment types.

Here's a quick breakdown of the main categories

Lockout Padlocks: The quintessential LOTO device, these durable padlocks physically prevent activation of energy sources, like valves or electrical switches. Look for features like multiple shackle sizes, weather resistance, and keying options for added security.

Cable Lockouts: Ideal for large equipment with multiple isolation points, cable lockouts allow you to secure multiple valves or levers with a single device. Choose from various cable lengths and locking mechanisms to ensure a snug fit.

Electrical Lockout Devices: Designed specifically for electrical equipment, these devices block access to plugs and outlets, preventing accidental energization. Opt for tamper-proof models with voltage ratings matching your equipment.

Ball Valve Lockouts: These specialized devices fit snugly over ball valves, ensuring complete isolation of fluid flow. Choose the right size and material for your specific valve type.

Match your device to your need.

Now, let's get practical! Here are some questions to ask yourself when selecting a LOTO device:

What type of energy source needs to be isolated? (Electricity, gas, water, etc.)

What is the size and configuration of the isolation point? (Valve size, plug type, etc.)

How many points need to be locked out simultaneously?

What are the environmental conditions? (Weather, temperature, etc.)

Does the device comply with relevant safety regulations?

Once you answer these questions, you'll have a clear idea of the type of LOTO device you need. Remember, consulting your LOTO program and manufacturer instructions is crucial for selecting the appropriate device for each task.

Bonus Tip: Invest in a LOTO kit!

These pre-assembled kits contain a variety of commonly used devices, perfect for tackling diverse maintenance tasks.

Stay Safe, Stay Compliant

Choosing the right LOTO device is not just about practicality; it's about protecting lives. By understanding the available options and selecting the appropriate devices for your specific needs, you're ensuring the safety of your workers and compliance with vital safety regulations.

Remember, it's always better to err on the side of caution when dealing with hazardous energy sources.So, go forth and conquer the world of LOTO! Your workers (and safety inspector) will thank you.