Approximately 100 fatal occupational accidents still occur in Switzerland every year. Around ten of these fatal accidents involve maintenance work on machinery and equipment. Often because the central rule of "switch off and secure" was not observed.
Lockout Tagout (LOTO): The most important in a nutshell
- Lockout-Tagout procedure (abbreviated LOTO) is the securing and enabling of energy with the help of the safety-relevant interlocks of various energy supplies on machines.
- With the help of the Lockout-Tagout devices, for example, the actuators of a technical system such as switches, blocking or ball valves, etc. are fixed in a certain position. Thus, the subsequent safe maintenance is guaranteed.
What is the lockout tagout process and what does it involve?
The Lockout-Tagout (LOTO) procedure is a method for preventing unintentional machine and plant starts during maintenance or repair work. It involves steps to safely shut down machinery or equipment. It also aims to prevent unintentional starting before maintenance or repair work:
- Isolate: All energy sources leading to the machine or plant are isolated. Unattended starting is prevented:
- Locking: After the power sources have been isolated, they are secured with a lock to prevent accidental starting. This can be done by using mechanical locks or electronic security systems.
- Labeling:To ensure that no one starts the machine or equipment while maintenance or repair work is being performed, the isolated energy sources are labeled with a "Locked Out" sign.
- Check:Before maintenance or repair work is started, it is checked whether all energy sources are properly isolated and locked.
- Release: When maintenance or repair work is completed, the locks are removed and the energy sources are released.
Legal basis Lockout-Tagout
In Switzerland, there are legal regulations concerning the Lockout-Tagout procedure (LOTO):
- Ordinance to the Labor Act (ArGV 3): Regulates the general requirements for occupational health and safety and gives employers the obligation to protect the safety and health of their employees. Within the framework of the ArGV, employers are obliged to take appropriate protective measures to prevent accidents and damage to health at work.
- Low Voltage Installation Standard (NIN): It is considered the most important technical standard for the electrical installation industry in Switzerland.
Which companies should be looking at the lockout tagout process?
Companies seeking greater protection for employees and equipment during maintenance work should look into this.
Who in the company should deal with this?
What are the advantages/benefits of addressing lockout tagout?
The LOTO procedure is important to ensure the safety of workers performing maintenance or repair work on machines or equipment. It helps to prevent accidents caused by unintentional starting of machines or equipment and thus also helps to avoid costs due to damage to equipment and injuries and, if necessary, processes.
How does SBIS support?
Planning and implementing the safe maintenance of machinery and equipment is a complex subject area. SBIS is happy to support you individually and competently in the following areas:
- Lockout tagout analysis based on existing equipment and procedures
- Pointing out best practice examples
- Developing a customized lockout tagout overall strategy
- Optimizing safety processes during troubleshooting, Maintenance, and servicing
- Training personnel to recognize hazardous energy
- Training and instructing your employees regarding the lockout-tagout procedure
- Developing alternatives for working on machines where disconnecting all power is not necessary when performing minor maintenance