The Difference Between Lock Out and Tag Out

Preventative maintenance

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was formed in 1971 as the result of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. The organization was conceived to protect workers from on the job death, injury, or illness. The causes of this can be the result of unsafe physical environments and or exposure to hazardous working materials. Since 1971, OSHA and Osha lockout tagout guidelines have helped reduce workplace fatalities by 62 percent and workplace injuries and illness by 40 percent.

New technologies and industries pose new potential dangers to the workplace. As such, OSHA mandates that any work involved with potentially hazardous materials or environments have lockout tagout kits, confined space training, and lock out tag out programs (which include lock out tag out training) to safeguard employees from the unexpected startup or release of hazardous energy during the use, maintenance, and service of equipment machinery.

Lockout tagout programs and lock out tag out training include explaining the differences between the two devices. Lock out tag out training explains that lockout devices enable machinery to be safely held in an off or locked position. This prevents the unintentional restart of machinery because the equipment can not be reengaged without a key. A tagout device provides a prominent warning indicating employees are not to restart a device while a person services it. When comparing lockout tagout machinery, it is easier to bypass a tagout warning. Because of this difference in features, according to OSHA lock out tag out training, lockout devices are safer than tagout devices. OSHA lock out tag out training and regulations also request that employers perform periodic inspections to ensure adherence.

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