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5 tips to ensure a successful group lockout procedure

Michael Holmes

In this article, we are going to share our five tips for a successful group lockout procedure to ensure a smooth process and a safer workplace for those involved.

Performing a safe and accurate lockout procedure can be complex for one person, however when a group lockout (sometimes across multiple machines) is required, it can become increasingly more complicated and impose significant health and safety risks. Therefore, it is essential that lockout tagout procedures are correctly communicated and performed with no errors.

In this article, we are going to share our five tips for a successful group lockout procedure to ensure a smooth process and a safer workplace for those involved.

Identify the risks

The first step in the process of implementing a lockout tagout programme is to identify any possible risks. Decision-makers within the group should carry out an equipment appraisal to identify every piece of machinery within the production facility that could pose a risk to staff working within or nearby.

As part of this process, all energy control points should be identified and mapped out. And all valves, switches, circuit breakers, and plugs that will require a lockout label or tag need to be noted down. Other risks to note include environmental factors such as confined spaces, or exposure to weather.

Develop and document a group lockout policy

Developing and documenting an equipment energy control policy is essential in preparing for an effective group lockout procedure. This policy document should:

  • Outline the elements of the procedure
  • Define responsibilities of each employee
  • Include isolation procedures
  • Include permits to work
  • Outline the use of lockout tagout products and how to return equipment to its regular operation

In addition to the central policy document, machine and task-specific guidelines should be drawn-up and displayed at the appropriate points in the facility. These guidelines should include details of:

  • The shutdown and isolation procedure for each piece of machinery/ equipment
  • The placement, removal, and transfer of the lockout tagout devices being utilized
lockout

Implement lockout tagout systems

The third and perhaps one of the more important steps in a successful group lockout procedure is to fit the appropriate lockout tagout products for each application. These systems ensure the machinery and equipment remains in the ‘safe’ position. 

Once lockout and tagout products have been fit and tested, they must be stored both safely and for when they are next required. The availability of these items must be safeguarded at all times by an authorised personnel. Applicable signage and the printed instructions for the use of products should also be displayed alongside the relevant equipment.

Training and procedure acknowledgement

In order to create a safe working environment for everyone, coordination and communication between employees is vital, particularly when more than one department is involved. Therefore, all staff working on the group lockout procedure must be fully trained and aware of the process that will entail.

Audit And Review

The final step of any successful and effective group lockout procedure is an audit and review. Once the procedure is completed, it must be regularly monitored and reviewed to ensure complete safety for work personnel and reduce the chance of future accidents.

By auditing the lockout procedure, businesses will be able to identify possible areas of risk and highlight any new requirements needed.

lockout valve

Control your group lockout, and maximise safety with REGALTAGS

At REGALTAGS, we provide a range of Lockout systems designed to provide a reliable and safe solution. Our large stock is available for rapid delivery and designed for continued use in even the harshest of environments. Utilising UV, freeze, and tear resistant materials, we provide peace of mind with long-lasting lockout solutions.
From Reusable Cable Lockouts, through to Wire LocksLockout HaspsIsolation Tags, and more, we have all you need to maximise safety during your lockout tagout procedure.

Find more information through our Lockout Systems range, or get in touch with our expert team about your requirements today. We can meet the needs of your procedure and business with customised lockout systems! 

If you’re looking for lockout systems that your business can rely on, get in touch with our expert team at REGALTAGS today – we’re just a call or click away.

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