Friday, January 16, 2015

Under Lock & Key: The Most Important Piece to Your Lockout Program

Recently, Brady Client Services hosted a webinar titled “Under Lock & Key: The Most Important Piece to Your Lockout Program”. Brady employees Courtney Bohman and Amy Berkey, as well as Kyle W. Morrison, Senior Associate Editor of Safety + Health magazine conducted it.

Lockout/Tagout continues to be one of OSHA’s top 10 most frequently cited workplace safety violations. Understanding regulations isn’t enough – success and compliance in the workplace is based on a key component – employees.

The major focus of the presentation was breaking existing barriers between lockout/tagout programs and employees to reach compliance. The thought is by instituting processes to simplify those programs allowed for greater employee understanding and the ability to tailor them for those who use them every day.

The webinar outlined the discussion with the four pillars of an Effective Lockout Program – Regulatory Basics, OSHA’s Top 10 Citations List, Breaking Down Barriers and Tailoring to Your Employees.

Regulatory Basics broke down industry standards primarily in the U.S. and some internationally – specifically Canada and Europe. This part of the presentation talked about “industry workers performing servicing and/or maintenance on machines or equipment and who are exposed to the unexpected energization, startup, or release of hazardous energy.” In addition, it broke down who these regulations apply to, what activities are covered and not covered.

The discussion then spent a significant amount of time discussing OSHA’S Top 10 Citations List. Lockout/Tagout citations usually placed fifth in the Top 10 list over the past ten years. There was an analysis of the list as a whole, specifically the top five, and it was stated the citations were not specific to one industry, as manufacturing plants, paper mills and slaughterhouses are represented in the citation statistics.

Then the webinar moved deeper into “Breaking Down the Barriers” which explained the difference between an OSH Program vs. an OSH Management System and how to best identify a company’s lockout/tagout efforts and offered a way to implement the right system. Management buy in was stressed as a critical component at this stage, and the presentation broke down the levels of employee involvement in order to make system implementation successful. The last section explained how best to tailor the systems to employees, suggesting services support (consulting with others, investing improvements, audits) and work efficiency support (lockout devices, visual signage, software and systems) to increase the value of the safety culture within the company.