Our latest Safetip is about sharing your Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) procedures with hired contractors.
Lockout/Tagout Should be a High Priority
Lockout/Tagout (or isolation) is used to protect workers from the unexpected release of stored energy during the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment. LOTO procedures aim to isolate a machine or equipment from hazardous energy sources, or make it inoperative.
According to OSHA, there are 3 million workers in the U.S. who service equipment and face the greatest risk, including craft workers, machine operators and laborers.
The Agency says that compliance with its LOTO standard prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year. Workers injured on the job from exposure to hazardous energy need an average of 24 workdays to recover, OSHA says.
In addition, OSHA’s LOTO standard has ranked among the top five most cited violations for each of the last five consecutive years. Making LOTO a high priority is about both safety and compliance.
The Outsourcing of Work
According to a report from ISN Analytics, the use of contractors and the outsourcing of work are increasing. 23% of contractor hiring organizations use over 1,000 contractor companies, the report says.
Almost half of the organizations surveyed by ISN Analytics have a minimum of 40% of on-site work completed by contractors. It can even go as high as 100% for some organizations.
Protect Contractors Like Your Own Workers
In many jurisdictions, hiring organizations have responsibility for the safety of contract workers on their work sites, or joint responsibility with the contractor company.
As such, make sure that you adequately protect contract workers by sharing your LOTO procedures. To make things easier, allow them to access the procedures through mobile devices. Also, if possible, ask the hired contractor to acknowledge that they have received and read the procedures before you bring them on site.
Our Safetips share safety tips or best practices that contribute to safety excellence. Visit Enablon Insights regularly for new Safetips!