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Safety Management Insights

How to Choose the Right Lockout Tagout Program

Posted by Don Brown on Jun 20, 2014 8:30:00 AM

Choosing_Lockout_Tagout_softwareUsing a program that effectively manages hazardous energy is one of the most important steps your company can take to protect workers.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health investigated 185 fatalities related to the unexpected restart of equipment from 1982 to 2006 and found 77 percent of them were at least partly caused by a failure to completely de-energize, block or dissipate a source of hazardous energy.

Seventeen percent of those deaths were caused by a failure to properly lockout or tagout energy control devices.

Such oversights can also lead to serious injuries such as fractures, amputations or crushing injuries.

Companies that take their lockout/tagout procedures seriously are increasingly using an environmental health and safety (EHS) software or integrated safety database to manage them. At the very least, lockout/tagout software should allow managers to keep track of all policies and procedures related to the control of hazardous energy, but the best programs do much more than this.

Here are some questions to consider when choosing the right LOTO software for your company.

  • Will it allow me to expand on existing procedures? A good software system shouldn’t make you start from scratch. It should allow you to upload procedures you already have and modify them or build new ones.

  • Will it show my revisions? We all know effective policies should be living documents updated to keep up with changes in equipment, but sometimes you need to be able to go back to see how your policies have changed over time.

  • Does it keep me on track to meet OSHA requirements? The best LOTO software systems take the guesswork out of complying with regulations by reminding you when it’s time to make updates. If your system is not in compliance with regulatory requirements, your LOTO software should notify your managers so they can be proactive.

  • Can it be integrated with other systems? Your lockout/tagout procedures shouldn’t be done in isolation. Effective LOTO management requires training, auditing, job safety analysis procedures and incident tracking. You should have a digital management system for those programs, too, and they should all work together seamlessly.

  • Does it allow me to take immediate action? When you spot an equipment tag that’s missing or you notice a new employee hasn’t been trained on lockout/tagout procedures, you need to know the issue will be resolved promptly. A good LOTO software should allow you to email managers or employees so someone is held accountable for taking action.

BasicSafe’s LOTO program allows safety managers or administrators to easily access procedures and make changes to them as needed. It notifies managers when your program is at risk of not meeting OSHA requirements. Most importantly, it can be integrated with all the other safety management programs we offer so you don’t have to purchase separate software for each program.

You can link your LOTO procedures to our auditing software, job safety analysis software, training management program  and even use it in conjunction with incident investigation and reporting.

Using these programs together saves you time and money and ensures you have a comprehensive safety management program.

To learn more about how our lockout/tagout module works with other safety programs, watch our demo video.

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