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What is LOTO?
In this course, you will learn about the basics of LOTO- short for Lockout Tagout. It is essential to isolate any energies that can cause harm before commencing maintenance, repair or overhaul activity for any equipment.
For example, before working on a pump that is driven by an electric motor, it is essential that the motor be locked out, so that it does accidentally start and injure the workmen working on the pump. The locking out is generally done directly from the circuit breaker that controls power supply to the motor. This ensures that it cannot be started from anywhere. A padlock may be used to lock the circuit breaker in the off position. This is the “locking out” part of the safety measure. The other part is “tag out” which means that a tag is affixed to the padlock that warns people not to remove the padlock and start the motor as somebody may be working on it. This combined action is referred to as LOTO-Lockout Tagout and is one of the most important occupational safety procedures.
Why do we need to implement LOTO?
LOTO is a proven way to ensure safe working in any industry of workplace and dramatically reduces the chances of injuries and fatalities to a very low number. While this in itself is a great reason to implement LOTO in the workplace, there is another good reason to do it and that is to follow the law.
In many regions, following LOTO is the law and you could be prosecuted legally if you do not follow it. In the US, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has mandated the following of lockout tagout procedures.
What does OSHA say?
The OSHA standard for The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout), Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 1910.147, addresses the practices and procedures necessary to disable machinery or equipment, thereby preventing the release of hazardous energy while employees perform
servicing and maintenance activities. The standard outlines measures for controlling hazardous energies—electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, and other energy sources.
Electrical Equipment & OSHA
In addition, 29 CFR 1910.333 sets forth requirements to protect employees working on electric circuits and equipment. This section requires workers to use safe work practices, including lockout and tagging procedures. These
provisions apply when employees are exposed to electrical hazards while working on, near, or with conductors or systems that use electric energy.
Where is LOTO applicable?
The most common example is electrical isolation, as shown in the video below, but this is not the only energy that may need isolation. Frequently, industrial equipment may have many energies connected to them, such as compressed air, nitrogen, hydraulic oil and so on. LOTO applies to all of these. LOTO is applicable not only to industries, but also to any work place including commercial buildings, warehouses, airports, maintenance/ overhaul shops and other places.
Short LOTO Video
See the video below to know what LOTO means. in brief.
How can I learn about LOTO?
There are two courses on LOTO from Abhisam. One is the free Basic LOTO training that can be taken by anybody and covers all the fundamentals about lockout tagout in all industries. You can take this course, right now by clicking the Take this course button on this page (upper left hand side). The course is free, but you will need to register first, if you have not already done so.
Where can I learn more about LOTO? How to develop LOTO procedures?
While the basic LOTO course is good enough for a basic understanding, many supervisors, managers and safety professionals, may need a detailed course that includes details about the OSHA Lockout Tagout Standard, guidelines on developing LOTO procedures, implementing them in your workplace, ready to use templates and more. You can get the course details here.