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Safety Management Insights

How to Choose Lockout / Tagout Software

Posted by Don Brown on Apr 29, 2015 9:30:00 AM

lockout_software_2Lockout / tagout procedures are critically important to employee safety at any hazardous worksite, and up-to-date LOTO policies can mean the difference between an accident-free workplace and frequent incidents.

What’s more, OSHA closely monitors most industries for proper LOTO practices, and passing audits and inspections of your heavy machinery can be just as important as reporting accidents and illnesses.

Like other important safety policies, however, lockout/tagout can be difficult to track, particularly for companies with multiple facilities and jobsites. Safety software can be a great way to improve safety and efficiency, reduce operating expenses and ease regulatory burdens – all while promoting a greener, more paper-free environment.

If you’re looking for a digital solution to your LOTO organization issues, keep in mind the following considerations.

One Location for All LOTO Information

Any viable safety software suite should allow you to store all of your LOTO data and procedures in one location that’s easily accessible to all your employees. If you’re coordinating safety efforts among multiple jobsites, it should likewise be quick and simple for a variety of personnel to access the same information. Safety administrators, managers, corporate executives and even wage-earning workers should be able to access the information they need to stay compliant and complete necessary audits and training.

Look for a lockout/tagout software with varying levels of permissions so everyone can have access without compromising the security of sensitive documents.

User-Friendly

User-friendliness is important enough for the safety personnel who’ll be using the software the most. If it’s going to be used by workers and other administrators, it’s even more critical for the software to be intuitive and easy to use.

Flexible Data Entry

Even if you haven’t purchased a dedicated LOTO program or safety software suite, you’ve more than likely digitally documented at least some of your procedures. You shouldn’t have to write them all over again. Look for a program that allows for flexible data entry. The new software should allow you to upload and integrate your existing files, create new procedures and edit old ones. Given the importance of diagrams and drawings in describing LOTO procedures, you should also be able to combine those text-based files with images.

Easy Search Functions

You don’t want to waste any more time rifling through binders and notebooks for LOTO files, and you shouldn’t have to scour through disorganized digital data, either. Look for a search program that generates specific lists according to partial names, descriptions and numerical designations. It’s also helpful to be able to search according to custom criteria such as areas, equipment groupings, asset numbers and audit statuses.

Notifications

You may have a variety of personnel involved in LOTO procedures and other safety-related tasks, and they’ll all need to be notified of procedural changes and corrective actions. A good program should include notifications for auditors, administrators, managers and trainers. Auditors should receive emails when audits are due. Managers should be notified when procedural changes are required, and trainers should receive an alert when training and re-training are needed.

Integration with other Safety Tools

It’s not enough to digitally document your lockout/tagout procedures and audits. To create the safest, most cost-efficient workplace possible, you’ll want a variety of programs for documenting and tracking incidents, training, OSHA audits and more. Your LOTO program should integrate with all of these tools, making it more efficient for you to coordinate all of your company’s safety initiatives.

Want to learn more about how our lockout/tagout software works with other tools in our integrated safety software? Contact us today to request a free demo.

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