Imagine causing a fatal accident just by turning on a piece of equipment. OSHA’s § 1910.147 rule says that workplaces must establish an energy control program for dangerous equipment, and a lockout/tagout system is an easy and powerful way to make sure no one gets hurt on the job.
A lockout procedure means placing a lockout device (a lock, either with a key or combination) on an energy isolating device. A tagout system (a tag and a means of attachment) is necessary when a lockout system is not possible. With both lockout and tagout systems, the energy source can’t be operated until the lock or tag is removed. Customizing your own lockout/tagout system allows you to brand your energy control system with your organization’s name and tailor it to the company’s needs.
When you create your own custom safety tag, make sure that they are in compliance with federal safety initiatives, such as the American National Standard Institute’s ANSI Z535.5. Choose the right safety message header, such as Danger, Warning, Caution, or Notice. Format the tag with a border, and demarcate the tag with the right message, which denotes the type of hazard present, the consequence of not avoiding the hazard, and how to avoid it. For example, “Wear Dust Mask: Respiratory Irritants In this Area.” It’s important to be as specific as possible and avoid “Weasel Words” that give vague indications. For example, a message such as “Be sure to clean the filter regularly” does not give a specific time frame. A consequence statement will let viewers know what will happen if the warning is ignored (Ex: “Can Sting Eyes, Irritate Nose, or Cause Death”). Lastly, it’s important that the tag adheres to OSHA standards of being able to pull at least 50 pounds, and be affixed as close as to the switches, levers, or energy sources as possible, and be fastened with connecting methods such as a nylon tie wrap, string, wire, or adhesive. A customization wizard allows for a personal stamp on it in minutes.