Once again OR-OSHA has put out a high quality publication! This one is on Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) and is a MUST have for every facility. Yes I know, it only counts in Oregon, but this publication explains LOTO like none other and can be used by any workplace struggling with LOTO regardless of what state you are in. This publication EXPLAINS the myths behind "minor servicing exception", "out of service" locks, etc. Here is a one of their explanation...
We have all heard the stories about "pressure" killing workers. One of my favorite trick questions to ask a group attending my LOTO training is "just how much pressure does it take to kill a human?" The incident below occurred at a power generation station and involved 40 psi, but PLEASE keep in mind that much less energy can result in similar outcomes. This is a great incident to include in your PRCS and Line Break training.
Some interesting, yet very DATED data, regarding LOTO accidents. This is from OSHA's preamble when they were trying to justify the need for the Control of Hazardous Energy Standard. TABLE III - ACTIVITY OF TIME OF ACCIDENT and TABLE IV - CIRCUMSTANCES OF INJURIES are VERY TELLING and in my professional opinion, still reflect the LOTO accidents we see today. So even though OSHA’s LOTO Standard came into effect in 1989, we are still seeing way too many injuries related to LOTO.
You spend enough time working on Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) you are bound to come across some crazy situations. Luckily I have some world class clients who not only allow me to share my "interesting finds" but encourage me to share with all of you. This most recent find was at an OSHA VPP STAR site. We have been hired to do program specific audits each quarter, with an emphasis on energy control. This means even though I may be auditing flammable liquids this quarter, I am ALWAYS auditing LOTO and conducting "periodic inspections" (and yes I am an "authorized employee" within their LOTO program - I wrote it, wrote 99% of the machine specific control plans, and still do all the LOTO training at the facility). For the most part this facility KNOWS LOTO and LIVES IT DAILY; but we all have flaws - no one or no facility is perfect. Hence why we need LAYERS of PROTECTION in all our safety efforts. So today I was making my rounds talking with everyone and came across one of the safety committee members who was cleaning a piece of equipment. He knew I was there to do an audit, as he had participated in many audits with me before. He was PROUD and CONFIDENT of his ability to meet all LOTO requirements. But, the good will ended there. Here is the image of his electrical isolation - do you see anything wrong?