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Course 710 - Energy Control Program (Lockout/Tagout)

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Sub Contractors, Group LOTO, Shift Change

Working With Contractors

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Whenever contractors and other outside servicing personnel perform tasks covered by the Lockout/Tagout standard, they must adhere to all the OSHA standard's requirements. The host employer and the contractor or outside employer must inform each other of the other's respective lockout or tagout procedures.

The host employer and the contractor must understand one another's lockout and tagout procedures. Make sure you review the contractor's energy-control program before the contractor does any on-site work. The host employer's workers must also understand and comply with the contractor's energy-control program.

Note: If you hire a one-person "independent contractor," he or she may claim they do not have to comply with State of Federal OSHA standards. They may be right, if they are not required to participate in a workers' compensation system. However, that does not relieve you, as the general or host employer, from legal liability. Make sure you require all contractors, no matter what their business status is, to adhere, at a minimum, to OSHA standards. If the contractor puts up a fuss, I personally would not do business with the contractor.

If the sub-contractor is using their own LOTO procedures, the on-site general contractor or host employer must ensure that his or her workers understand and comply with the restrictions and prohibitions of the contractor or outside employer's energy control program.

Group Lockout

In many workplaces a group of authorized workers may need to service equipment that has several energy sources and several energy-isolating devices. In these instances, group lockout may be used. Under group lockout, protection must be used which affords the employees a level of protection equivalent to that provided by the implementation of a personal lockout or tagout device.

The primary responsibility for a set number of employees working under the protection of a group lockout or tagout device must be vested in a single authorized employee. In other words, under group lockout, just one designated person in the group assumes responsibility for securing each energy-isolating device. However, each authorized employee should be assured of his or her right to personally verify that the hazardous energy has been isolated and/or de-energized.

Variations in Group Lockout

There are a number of variations in group lockout; the group lockbox variation reduces the number of locks and makes it easier for workers to coordinate their activities.

If there will be more than one crew, department, or group involved in the activity, a single authorized employee must be designated to coordinate affected workforces and to ensure continuity of protection. For these more complicated energy-control systems, group lockout can reduce the number of lockout devices that workers must use. Here's an example: Ten workers do maintenance on a machine that has five energy sources that need to be isolated.

  • Traditional lockout requires 50 locks. (Each employee places a lock on each energy-isolating device.)
  • Group lockout requires 15 locks. (A designated person in the group places a lock on each energy-isolating device. Each authorized employee places a lock on the group lockbox.)

Group lockout can also reduce the risk of injury for service and maintenance workers, contractors, and other affected workers who don't regularly work with complicated energy-control systems.

Master Lockbox: The lockbox into which all keys and tabs from the lockout or tagout devices securing the machine or equipment are inserted and which would be secured by a "job-lock" during multi-shift operations.

Example of a Group Lockout Procedure - The Group Lockbox Variation

group loto
The Group Lockout Procedure
(Click to enlarge)
  1. A designated, authorized employee in the group secures each energy-isolating device with a personal lock.
  2. The same authorized employee places the key that fits each lock in a group lockbox with a multi-lock hasp.
  3. The other authorized workers in the group secure the lockbox - they attach their personal locks to the box - before beginning their service work.
  4. After each employee finishes service work on the equipment, that employee removes his personal lock from the lockbox.
  5. After all the workers have finished their service work and removed their personal locks from the lockbox, the authorized employee who placed the key in the box removes it.
  6. The authorized employee uses the key to remove the lock on each energy-isolating device.

Shift Change Procedures

A high percentage of accidents occur shortly after a shift change and are often due to a lack of communication. Therefore, employers must make sure that there is a continuity of lockout or tagout protection. This includes the orderly transfer of lockout or tagout device protection between outgoing and incoming shifts to control hazardous energy.

  • When lockout or tagout devices remain on energy-isolation devices from a previous shift, the incoming shift members must verify for themselves that the machinery is effectively isolated and deenergized.

  • The offgoing shift personnel should meet oncoming personnel at the lockout/tagout device.

  • The oncoming authorized employee should place his/her lock or tag on the energy isolating device before the exiting authorized employee removes his /her lock or tag. If this is not possible, the oncoming authorized employee should place his/her lock or tag on the energy isolating device immediately after the exiting authorized employee removes his/her lock or tag.

  • The exiting employees should inform oncoming employees of any problems or concerns regarding the service and maintenance of machinery or equipment.

Videos

Watch these informative videos produced by OSHA. Just goes to show you what can happen if you're not careful.



Instructions

Before beginning this quiz, we highly recommend you review the module material. This quiz is designed to allow you to self-check your comprehension of the module content, but only focuses on key concepts and ideas.

Read each question carefully. Select the best answer, even if more than one answer seems possible. When done, click on the "Get Quiz Answers" button. If you do not answer all the questions, you will receive an error message.

Good luck!

1. Whenever contractors and other outside servicing personnel perform tasks covered by the Lockout/Tagout standard, they must adhere to all the OSHA standard's requirements.

2. Under group lockout, _____ in the group assumes responsibility for securing each energy-isolating device.

3. _____ should be assured of the right to verify that the hazardous energy has been isolated and/or deenergized.

4. A high percentage of accidents occur _____ a shift change and are often due to a lack of communication.

5. During a shift change, the oncoming authorized employee should place his or her lock on the energy isolating device before the exiting authorized employee removes his or her lock.


Have a great day!

Important! You will receive an "error" message unless all questions are answered.