What is LOTO?
LOTO is short for Lockout Tagout and is a safety procedure that physically locks out energy sources connected to a machine that is undergoing repair or maintenance, in order to prevent injury to the workers who are working on that machine.
How does LOTO work?
Lockout Tagout works by physically isolating the energy sources that supply energy to the machine. A LOTO padlock or other mechanical LOTO device is used to shutoff the energy supply to the machine from the source. So for example, in case of an electrical motor, the lockout happens at the Motor Control Center feeder itself. A tag on the LOTO padlock identifies the reason for the lockout, such as for example, maintenance of the pump that this motor drives.
Why is LOTO important?
Once you understand what is LOTO, you will realize that it is extremely important, because it effectively protects workers repairing a machine from being injured due to sudden, unwanted powering up of the machine. There have been several accidents in the past where innocent workers have lost their lives because a LOTO procedure was not followed. If you are located in the US, then LOTO is a legal requirement mandated by OSHA. Similarly in many other geographies like the European Union, it is a legal obligation to have a LOTO procedure for machines that require them.
Is LOTO the same as switching off the electrical supply?
No, LOTO is more than just switching off the energy supply (could be electric or pneumatic or any other kind). It is a complete mechanical isolation of the energy supply so that it cannot be inadvertently restored by somebody. Ideally only the person who is actually working on the repair of the machine and who has locked out the machine, should be able to remove the lockout and start it again.
Is there a short LOTO video that explains this?
Sure, watch it below.
Where can I get free LOTO training?
Where can I get professional LOTO training with certification?
Take the Abhisam LOTO Professional training course here. This training has much more content than the free LOTO training course, such as for example how to develop a LOTO procedure.