LOTO Requirements Overview
Lockout-Tagout (LOTO) refers to specific practices and procedures to safeguard employees from the unexpected energizing or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities.
Simply stated, LOTO procedures prevent accidents when your employees are operating and maintaining machines and plant equipment. OSHA regulations (29 CFR 1910.147) (Federal Law) require the control of energy-isolating devices by attaching locks to prevent machines from being operated, or in some cases, tags that provide warning not to operate equipment. LOTO procedures identify energy sources, specify the method of isolating the source and releasing any stored energy, and direct testing to verify energy source removal.
Companies that fall under OSHA regulations must have procedures in place for LOTO of all applicable equipment and machinery. In addition to having the procedures in place, employers are required to conduct annual audits of their procedures to ensure they are in full compliance.
Noncompliance or injuries sustained as a result of inadequate LOTO policies or procedures can result in severe OSHA penalties and expensive fines. More importantly, someone could be injured or killed.
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