Safety Lockout and Tagout procedures are meant to prevent work accidents during maintenance or service work on heavy machinery.
"Lockout" describes a procedure in which power switches, valves, levers, etc. are blocked from operation. During this process, special plastic caps, boxes or cables ( lockout devices) are used to cover the switch or valve and are secured with a padlock.
"Tagout" refers to the practice of attaching a WARNING or DANGER sign or even an individual note to an energy switch such as those described above.
In many cases, both actions are combined so that the worker is no longer able to reactivate the machine and at the same time is informed about the process to take further actions (e.g. calling the responsible colleague or commencing the next service step).
Safety Lockout and Tagout is especially important when working with heavy machinery that can inflict serious damage or in other situations that are dangerous for workers. Every year many people lose their lives or are seriously injured during maintenance or service work on heavy machinery. This can easily be avoided by following the rules for Safety Lockout and Tagout procedures.
If you have any specific questions about safety lockout or want to get a quick overview of the topic, maybe our lockout/tagout FAQ can help.