Having a safe workplace is the right of every worker. In many industries, staff associated with machines is sometimes very close to hazards and risks. Whether it’s repairing, servicing, or even maintenance, these are sensitive areas. Many industry-based accidents are caused by unexpected startup of equipment or machines. Sometimes, it can also be caused by an uncontrolled release of energy from machines. This is why it’s vital to implement systems to control such incidents to prevent occurrences of injuries or, even worse, death. One of the best strategies to solve this is to implement a lockout Tagout system. This system helps in executing procedures and efficiently managing resources. This guide attempts to look at the technical function and benefits of having Lockout Tagout software.
1. Standardization of Lockout Tagout Systems
The big advantage of executing a standardized lockout program is because it goes beyond being practical. In many cases, a standardized program can only be restricted by the scope of your responsibility. According to software experts from https://www.basicsafe.us/lockout-tagout-software, implementing these systems can help ease complex, time-consuming, and inaccessible processes in any modern work environment. For example, if you’re an EHSO officer (environmental health and safety) in a plant, you can focus on every applicable department and trade in the plant. This may include sensitive areas such as plumbing, engineering, and electrician, among others within your jurisdiction. Additionally, this can also work for those managing many facilities in different regions with different languages.
2. Provides Master Records
Lockout Tagout (LOTO) system allows maintaining master records of area, unit, isolation points, equipment, and specifically authorized personnel. Also, it allows easy cross-referencing between relevant records such as the equipment-to-isolation points. The generation of these documents comes attached with each type of isolation point. The relevant photographs and drawings also accompany this option of startup procedures to display a detailed report.
3. Downtime Assessment
Every company should strive to curb downtime in their systems. As a company, network downtime can lead to a series of reactions to negative events, including loss of customers, low employee productivity, and even lost revenue. For this reason, managers should work towards executing a proactive plan of prevention. LOTO software tracks each time a machine is locked out.
Additionally, it also tracks the lockout duration. The reports and dashboards provide managers with downtime assessment, which can decide when equipment needs replacing. Also, the dashboards display LOTO history with date, time, and display procedures due for review.
4. Consistent Template for LOTO Procedures
With LOTO, it helps to go beyond compliance aside from implementing the best practice procedures. They should include machine-specific pictures that identify energy isolation points. We recommend posting them at the point of use as this provides staff with transparent and visually intuitive instructions. Additionally, it also encourages familiarity, is time-saving, and streamlines audits. You can also invest in other specialized software to further streamline your procedures. This makes it easier to create consistent and visual systems across different facilities. Additionally, it gives you access to comprehensive program reports by site area that can be accessed from your smartphone, laptop, or tablet.
5. Training is Vital
Training for employees is vital to communicate the processes and to ensure the program runs efficiently. When training employees, ensure that you include OSHA requirements. We also recommend adding your specific program elements like machine-specific procedures. You should mainly focus on specific personnel who conduct the lockout procedures on equipment and machinery for site-specific training. This is two-way as it can also focus on those who don’t perform the lockout procedures but frequently use the equipment receiving maintenance. While this program feels daunting, it will pay in the long run.
6. Review and Execution of Procedures
Improvements in technology have automated the way we operate the equipment. We can see this in the safety of employees. The big benefit of LOTO procedures is that they can be reviewed on the web portal or even the mobile app. It’s also possible to apply the addition of photos with annotations to the procedure. If your employees are using the mobile app, they can execute LOTO procedures with simple yes/no or pass/fail responses.
Additionally, they can also add comments and pictures with annotation. Another benefit is providing compliance email alerts. As a manager, such alerts notify you of the procedures that are due for review within, say, one week, a fortnight, or even a month.
By having the relevant LOTO procedures, organizations can ensure employee safety and government rules compliance. Even following the appropriate protocols can help achieve this. If you’re new and are just starting with LOTO, we recommend following OSHA’s stipulated guidelines. Finally, using a LOTO program will help you achieve further streamlining of your procedures.