What are lockout stations?
Lockout stations are mainly used in large facilities and for multiple departmental use, and provide a place where lockout tagout equipment, such as padlocks, hasps, lockout tags and lockout devices can be stored safely. They are a fixed and secure place that are usually brightly coloured, either yellow or red, to draw attention and be easily identified in a lockout emergency.
Lockout stations are normally made as shadow boards, to quickly show missing products, and made of durable plastic or metal, usually located close by to machinery and equipment so that they can be accessed with ease – because of this, they are usually wall-mounted, with their main purpose being to make isolating equipment as easy as possible for workers.
What type of lockout stations are there to choose from?
It is important to consider the size of your business, and the amount of people who need access to lockout equipment daily. In addition to this, it is vital to have the correct amount of lockout equipment within a lockout station, this will determine how large your station needs to be for the workplace or facility. Also consider a range of padlocks that suit the requirements of a safe system of work and safe isolation to find the best for your business’ lockout station.
Lockout stations are available in a variety of sizes for different sized businesses and requirements. There are lockout stations made for small companies with only a handful of spaces for less equipment, or larger stations for businesses who require hundreds of padlocks and more lockout equipment. There are also lockout stations that are made for machine specific locations as well as for specific equipment, such as valves, cables and circuit breakers depending on your business’ requirements.
Which industries require lockout stations?
Lockout stations are usually used in large facilities and within the trade industry, from construction to electrical and mechanical workplaces, with lockout equipment needed close to hand every day for many businesses. Countless trade workplaces require electrical lockout, where the correct PPE, training and LOTOTO are sufficient for keeping workers safe. Where there are increased electrical risks, high voltage safety equipment from Reece Safety may be required to keep workers safe from shocks, burns and even death. Rescue hooks, insulating gloves and boots and switchboard matting are just a few additional PPE essentials that may be needed for certain equipment, machinery, and environments.
Lockout tagout try-out
The lockout tagout tryout (LOTOTO) procedure is one of the safest ways to isolate equipment prior to maintenance work taking place, which is why lockout stations are needed in workplaces. The procedure is comprised of nine stages that protect workers from potentially fatal injury. If incorrectly performed, workers can suffer serious injuries such as burns, electric shocks, cuts and crushing from machines and re-energised equipment. When performing LOTOTO, it is helpful for the efficiency and safety of workers to be close to a lockout station, as this means that the resources to complete the LOTOTO correctly and safely are close by. This means that and the likelihood of leaving machinery unattended to retrieve equipment is minimised, making the procedure safer.
Keeping workers safe throughout LOTOTO
It is important to ensure that workers are always safe while working in environments where electrical hazards are present. This can be aided through correct and thorough training, including regular refresher training on LOTOTO. Lockout cabinets play a big part in workplace health and safety in many instances, for example, in the event of equipment powering up accidently, lockout stations can allow easy and quick access to lockout equipment to safely and quickly lockout equipment.
LOTO training can be difficult due to workplaces having specific needs and requirements depending on the machinery and components that are being used within day to day work. Communication is key to an effective training programme, with each worker knowing their role and how to alert employees during LOTO will help to ensure increased levels of safety.
It is also important to formally document each procedure to keep track of equipment and status; this will give workers and management transparency and eliminate the potential for confusion, as well as decrease the amount of lost or misplaced devices. Written documents are also ideal for training purposes, by providing examples of different lockout components and how each lockout procedure for varying components is to be documented.
Lastly, it is key to choose the correct lockout devices needed for your equipment and machinery lockout, from plugs to switches. This will make it easier for employers to buy the most suitable device for each electrical or mechanical application. Lockout devices should be standardised to ensure that they are safely stored, organised and ready for use.