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The Importance of Lock Marks

Aug. 24, 2020

The lock mark can reduce the impact of personnel and machines from accidents that may occur during maintenance or repair. Despite detailed recommendations and audits, the death toll continues, ranging from mild electric shocks to loss of fingers to death.

In order to ensure sufficient safety, appropriate locking/Tagout equipment provided by the safety padlock manufacturer must be used, but it is equally important for employees and technicians to strictly follow the locking process shown in the diagram to prevent any accidental damage.

The following are some common lock flag errors that can be fatal.

Failure to De-Energize

The usual precaution is to shut down the machine and disconnect it from the power supply before it is put into operation. However, some employees accidentally or deliberately skipped this step. In some other cases, multiple power sources are used to power the device, which makes it necessary to determine all energy sources and turn off all energy sources. The switch is just an intermediate power supply device. Turning it over does not mean disconnecting the main power supply.

Ilure to Drain Residues

Turning off the device or cutting off the power does not necessarily mean that the device can be used safely. The energy stored in the battery, the excessive pressure accumulated in the system, the machine is still very hot in the previous operation, and the pipes that still contain hot or toxic liquids and gases need to be drained of residual materials, and exposure to them may be fatal.

Can't double check settings

Before starting maintenance, you must ensure that the power supply is disconnected, the movable machine parts are firmly locked in place, the residue is drained and the equipment is locked.

The omission of any of the above inspections usually results in fatalities.

Likewise, before unlocking and restarting the machine to open the premises for regular use, it is also important to check that tools and floors have been cleaned and all connections restored.

Lack of training

Every employee responsible for maintenance or repair work must be trained on the safety and locking procedures of the systems and equipment under their control. The lack of training not only threatens the lives of technicians but also compromises the safety of other personnel in the workshop.

Lack of device-specific locking procedures

Special equipment or integrated systems that require careful development of lockout tagout should be extremely careful. Each part must be equipped with a specific locking device, and each employee at work must be equipped with identification tags, otherwise, the maintenance process may become a challenge.

Lockout Tagout

Lockout Tagout

Reuse/Master Key/Shared Lock

Usually, every technician needs to hold his or her own set of tagged locking devices (to facilitate the task) with a key (to facilitate the task) to achieve responsibility, responsibility, and traceability. Others may use duplicate keys or primary keys without fully verifying whether the operation authority of the device or area has been cleared. Shared locks are a potential problem, with equally dangerous consequences.

In most cases, excessive self-confidence, experience, and familiarity with facilities or procedures can also influence people to ignore these lock-in foundations. Preventing workplace accidents is the joint responsibility of employers and employees.

Obtaining a lock-in/listing plan tailored to a specific workplace can help experts in the field, often proving to be effective in addressing complexity.

Although strict procedures must be implemented to ensure that the lockdown proceeds as planned, employees must be trained and accountable to avoid accidents. Not only should the person who actually operate and maintain the equipment be trained, but also all employees who can enter the workplace. They must know the locking/tagging process, the relevance of the tag and the device, and more importantly, understand why these tags or devices are not tampered with.

The process must be regularly audited to verify that employees can meet real-time challenges, identify deficiencies or areas that require attention and make appropriate changes to lockdown procedures.

The maintenance or repair company hired must follow the visual instructions and labels to ensure that employees of the plant is maintained can recognize these warnings and avoid the use of locked equipment or areas.

Appropriate locking devices and tags must be used to convey the correct message and attract attention. Choosing the correct label format is also different. Simple messages, engravings, bold colors, and even ID tags with photos can make the device easy to identify. Visual indicators, posters or line graphs next to specific systems or machines can help people easily identify power sources and movable parts, use the information to lock equipment, or just avoid accidentally starting the system.

Restricting the use of master keys to unlock equipment can prevent improper access to machines and equipment that are still under repair, or uncleared areas. The technician at work is the best person to clean the area and use the machine. However, in an emergency, the handcuffs can be broken to operate the equipment only after checking the status of the task with the relevant employees.

When dealing with heavy machinery and complex industrial systems, common and careless mistakes can indeed cause huge losses. However, proper lockout/Tagout procedures, strategies, procedures, training, and equipment can make the process more effective and safe.


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