Give Access to Lockout/Tagout Procedures on Mobile Devices - Safetip #203

Safety Tip and Best Practice
March 11, 2020

Our latest Safetip is about providing access to Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) procedures on mobile devices to employees and contractors.

A Matter of Safety and Compliance

Workers can suffer serious injuries or fatalities if stored energy is unexpectedly released during the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment. There are different types of hazardous energy sources, including electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, and others.

Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) procedures (or Isolation) protect workers from the unexpected release of stored energy by disabling a machine or equipment, or isolating hazardous energy sources.

In addition, OSHA’s LOTO standard was the fourth most frequently cited standard in 2019. In fact, the LOTO standard has been consistently in the top five for the last five years.

OSHA says in a fact sheet that compliance with its LOTO standard prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year in the U.S. Workers injured on the job from exposure to hazardous energy lose an average of 24 workdays to recover, the Agency says.

Machine-Specific LOTO Procedures on Mobile

LOTO procedures should be machine-specific. In any organization, there will be many LOTO procedures to go through, not a single generic one. In addition, contractors must also have access to LOTO procedures. This is especially pertinent since the use of contractors is growing.

The use of smartphones and tablets to access LOTO procedures can make the job of LOTO authorized employees and contractors much easier. It’s more effective than going through binders or paper documents.

An EHS Today article also makes the following great point: In some harsh working environments, it may be prohibited to place laminated hard copy LOTO procedures in “extreme conditions of weather, temperatures, chemical exposures or where metal-detectable materials are required”.

By using mobile devices, workers can simply pull the machine-specific procedure (e.g. through an ID number located on the machine or by scanning a barcode or QR code) and go through each step of the procedure.

Easy and quick access to LOTO procedures through smartphones and tablets is yet another example of the many benefits of EHS mobile apps.


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Author

JG

Jean-Grégoire Manoukian

Content Thought Leader