Meat&Poultry - February 2013 - (Page 54)
Precautions must be taken to
ensure the safety of all employees,
including sanitation workers
BY KIMBERLIE CLYMA
ockout-tagout procedures protect workers from inju-
on it. Affected employee refers to the employee who is
ry, or even death, caused by the unexpected start-up
required to use the machines on a daily basis, but isn’t
of the machine they are working on or around. Although
necessarily in charge of the maintenance or servicing, or
sanitation workers usually don’t operate dangerous ma-
even in charge of the lockout/tagout procedures. “Other”
chinery, they do clean in and around hazardous equip-
employees are those whose work may require them to be
ment, making lockout-tagout procedures crucial to en-
in the areas of the plant where there is locked-out equip-
sure their safety.
ment. They are never permitted to restart machines or
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has outlined lockout-tagout requirements
and regulations in its code, The Control of Hazardous En-
equipment that are locked out.
In order to develop in-house safety procedures, it’s important to understand certain terms.
ergy (Lockout/Tagout), Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations
Lockout: The placement of a lockout device on an ener-
(CFR) Part 1910.147, “which addresses the practices and
gy-isolating device ensuring the equipment being controlled
procedures necessary to disable machinery or equipment,
cannot be operated until the lockout device is removed.
thereby preventing the release of hazardous energy while
Lockout device: Any device, such as a lock, to hold an
employees perform servicing and maintenance activities,”
energy-isolating device in a safe position, to prevent the
according to an OSHA factsheet. “Hazardous energy”
energizing of machinery or equipment.
can refer to electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic,
chemical, thermal and other energy sources.
Tagout: The placement of a tagout device on an energyisolating device to indicate the equipment being controlled
The OSHA standard for lockout-tagout procedures
may not be operated until the tagout device is removed.
puts the responsibility on the employer to protect em-
Tagout device: A warning device, such as a tag, that can
ployees from hazardous energy sources on machines and
be fastened to an energy-isolating device to indicate the ma-
equipment during service and maintenance. However, the
chine may not be used until the tagout device is removed.
OSHA standard does give the employer the flexibility to
develop a plan that best suits their workplace.
In lockout-tagout procedures, there are three basic
groups of people: authorized employees, affected employees and “other” employees. An authorized employee
is the employee who locks or tags the machine or piece
of equipment in order to perform service or maintenance
• Meat&Poultry • February 2013 • www.MeatPoultry.com
If lockout-tagout procedures are defi ned and followed
then maintenance and sanitation crews can do their jobs
effectively and safely. ■
M&P’s Sanitation Tips are to be used only as guidelines for cleaning and
sanitizing processing facilities. Specific issues and questions should be
addressed by a sanitation crew supervisor.
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