Safety lockout and tagout measures help to achieve a safe working environment. From the perspective of an employer, guidelines and legal regulations must be followed in order to protect employees. In this instance, where rules and directions alone are not enough, physical safety measures are needed to avoid work accidents.
According to the International Labour Organization (ILO) around 2.2 million people die from work accidents each year worldwide and around 270 million people are injured by work-related accidents. Especially in industrial environments where workers come in contact with toxic chemicals, high temperatures, heavy machinery or sharp tools, the risk of an accident is extremely high. An oven fire can escalate very quickly, explosive materials can catch fire, rubble can fall down, and workers can get caught in machines. It is often difficult to help in such situations – and often help comes too late.
That is why it is not only important to establish clear guidelines for emergency situations, it is crucial to take preventive work safety measurements. Even with simple actions and safety products which can be integrated into the daily work routine without a problem, accidents can effectively be prevented and employees can be protected.
This is where safety lockout and tagout products come into play. With these, machines, valves, power plugs and switches can be locked in a way that they cannot be accessed during maintenance, cleaning and repair work. Through these measures, the safety of employees is ensured and accidents can effectively be avoided.
To temporarily block access to switchboards, ABUS offers different varieties of lockout hasps. With these, main power switches and thus the energy sources can easily be locked out during maintenance or service work. This is an easy and effective way to avoid accidental restarting of the machine.
The regular maintenance of machinery is indispensable. In order not to endanger employees who are assigned to carry out the maintenance work, it is very important to lock out gate valves. The ABUS valve lockout device is perfect for this job. It effectively blocks access to valves on pipes so that these cannot be turned on accidentally.
To block most common ball valves (even those with more than two outgoing pipes), the ball valve lockout device is the right choice. If the flat lever is at an angle of 90 degree to the pipe, it can be locked by the device. With a padlock, the device ultimately gets fixated and the ball valve is locked. Accidental opening during maintenance work is therefore impossible.
During maintenance work, certain valves on machinery have to be locked in order to protect employees. This ball valve lockout device is used to block access to a lever on a standard ball valve.
Single circuit breakers can effectively be locked out by these devices. By turning the screw, the lockout device pinches single switches and blocks them from movement. During maintenance work, this procedure makes sure that switches and therefore the machines are not accidentally turned on.
This lockout device is used to keep multi-pole circuit breakers turned off during maintenance work. To do this, the lockout device is clamped into the open space under the bridge over the switches; then the adjustment wheel grips the device and therefore blocks the switch off.
In order to carry out maintenance work on machinery, some plugs have to be disconnected to interrupt the power flow. To make sure these plugs are not plugged in again by mistake, they can be locked inside this lockout device. The power plug lockout is available in two different sizes.
During maintenance work, gas bottles and gas connections have to be secured. The gas cylinder lockout is perfect for this job because it effectively locks gas cylinders.
There are situations when the right lockout device is not at hand. If a machine is malfunctioning and has to be serviced quickly, sometimes there is not enough time to search for a special valve, circuit breaker, or other device. The Safelex™ universal cable lockout is the solution. It is universally applicable, especially in cases where longer distances between two lockout points have to be bridged.
The standard cable lockout is used during maintenance work in cases where the special lockout device for the respective access point is not at hand. It can be used universally on different kinds of energy sources.
Maintenance or service work on big machinery is usually an organizational effort. Many different access points have to be locked out, many different groups of workers with different professions are at work. If all people involved had to lock out each access point, it would become not only a very timely effort, but it would also require a large number of padlocks. The solution: The Safety Redbox™. Thanks to this product, only the foreman has to lock out all the access points and then put the different keys into the box. All other people involved lock the Safety Redbox™ with their personalized padlock, thus all the keys are stored away until the end of the maintenance process.
Each working environment has its own unique characteristics and the framework for safety measurements usually differs. Sometimes corrosion resistance is very important, other times a spark-resistant or insulated feature is needed.
ABUS not only offers safety lockout devices, but also a large variety of colour-coded, inscribable or engravable safety padlocks. Through these customisation processes, a fast and easy assignment between the lock and the respective employee who uses that lock is always possible. ABUS safety padlocks are not only quality-engineered; they are backed by high-quality service and support. For example, keyed alike locks can be reordered even after many years, or padlocks can be integrated in already existing locking systems.
For safety reasons, only a few employees are allowed to operate and lock out switchboards and machinery. With colored padlocks it is clear who has this authority. These regulations also apply in electrical and high-temperature surroundings: Use 74 series locks there.
Work safety is a high priority subject. With the locks of the 72 series, the safety of the employees can be significant cantly improved. Due to their color variety, the locks can be assigned to diff erent persons or groups. Through this, it is clear who is locking out a machine and who has the responsibility to unlock it.
The ABUS 41 Laminated Steel Series is a safety padlock that also features a high level of security. The robust steel body is not only resistant to physical attacks, but also to corrosion because of the special ETERNA™ plating on each of the laminates.
The T84MB is spark-resistant and very sturdy in harsh weather conditions. For safety purposes, it is best used wherever corrosion is an issue.
The more machines there are that have to be locked out, the more different keys are needed. But a large number of keys and a confusing key administration are not necessary. Modern locking systems by ABUS are the solution.
A locking system is a combination of different locking cylinders that have a certain relation to each other. Depending on what is needed, the functionalities of the cylinder can be bundled and exactly assigned. Within a locking system there are single keys, group keys and general keys – this makes it possible to distribute certain access rights among different employees.
In the USA, Lockout/Tagout is strongly connected to a federal agency named Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). According to OSHA, which is significantly responsible for work safety measurements, Lockout/Tagout is the best way to prevent work accidents during maintenance and service work.
Lockout describes the actual physical action of locking, such as industrial machinery or gate valves, and can also be called maintenance protection.
Tagout, on the other hand, refers to the marking of important lockout points with information or warning signs. A proper lockout procedure always requires a tagout. A tagout procedure can be carried out separately in cases where no physical lockout is possible.
You can read all about our products and the subject of industrial safety again in our brochure “ABUS Industrial Safety – Safe Workplaces for Employee Protection”. Simply download the PDF on your computer or print out the brochure directly.
Learn more about the importance of industrial safety and about our products in the following videos.
You will find an introduction movie that underlines the need for proper Lockout/Tagout procedures as well as a number of application videos for our Safety Devices. View the product videos