Wednesday, August 21, 2013

How To Improve Your Lock Out Program


Most manufacturing facilities that we visit have a general plant lock out policy. It is a requirement in the Province of Manitoba that any machinery that is being serviced, repaired, tested, cleaned, maintained or adjusted must be de-energized and locked out.


The general steps in a lock out procedure should include:

  1.  Proper shut down of the equipment,
  2. Isolate the energy sources,
  3. Apply a lock to all energy sources,
  4. Relieve any stored energy from the equipment, and
  5. Verify that the lock out is effective.


Companies that excel in machine lock out not only have a general plant policy, but also annual employee training and machine specific lock out procedures for every piece of equipment. Machine specific lock out procedures are step by step instructions on how to lock out and verify that particular machine. They should also include a diagram showing the location of each lock out point and pictures of how to lock out each energy source. Operators should be trained on the specific lock out procedures for their own equipment and the procedures should be posted at the machine for quick and easy reference.


machine specific lock out procedure


Machine specific lock out procedures are beneficial for a number of reasons:

  1. Provide visual instruction which is beneficial for all employees but especially for those of whom English is not their first language.
  2. Clearly indicate where all lock out points are located.
  3. Describe how to properly verify that the energy is isolated.
  4. Ensure that ALL lock out points are addressed. Some machines have multiple energy sources that could be easily missed.
Posted by Kristin Petaski at 2:34 PM 0 Comments
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