Harper College

Don’t Play LOTO

Yes, LOTO, but not the LOTO many people think of! What I mean is Lock Out/Tag Out. In many industries that use machinery of all sizes, the need to properly ensure that each is powered down properly and tagged prominently, showing that the machine is safe to be serviced, is a high priority. Procedures for LOTO should be precise, detailed and practiced by any staff working with machinery to prevent injury.

Recently, I attended a training event hosted by the Illinois Manufacturing Association (IMA). The focus was on electrical hazard recognition, safety training and elements of policy and procedures related to LOTO. Interestingly, one of the messages related to the audience that stood out was the fact that one of the most common causes of workplace injuries or incidents was the failure to identify or recognize hazards that exist in the workplace.

Another significant session segment centered on the importance of maintaining accurate training records and offering clear direction to all employees concerning LOTO procedures. In short, having a solid LOTO safety process and always following said guidelines will help to create a safe working environment and prevent injuries. There are many resources available to employers regarding safety practices, hazard awareness and best practices for LOTO safety training, policy and procedures.

Here are some resources for more information on this topic:

Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout)-- OSHA

Hazardous Energy Control (Lockout and Other Means)-- CDC
When “Off” Must Absolutely, Positively Mean “Off”-- National Safety Council

Be Safe, always be on the lookout for potential hazards, watch out for your colleagues and develop the consistent practice of good safety procedures every day!

Last Updated: 3/14/24