Lock out Tag out components

mccoywest

Member
Location
San Diego, Ca.
I am new to this forum. Thanks for the add!

The device and component types are ever changing and increasing in our industry these days. We are looking to update our lockout/tagout inventory and I was wondering if I could get some input on what would be the most versatile and complete system on the market today. We work in the light industrial and life sciences environments mainly and with so many devices needing our attention I thought I would ask for some advice before investing substantially in a system that only covers a fraction of our needs. Any input would be greatly appreciated!
 

jmellc

Senior Member
Location
Central NC
I am a proponent of LOTO. I use it substantially more than my peers.

That said, I would reassess your LOTO inventory and then spend the money on TRAINING. All the little hasps and clamps look nice, but IMO a lock and a tag get 99% of it.
I have found that no one clamp fits all breakers. The ones with the little rubber bands fir several types but the bands are a lot to keep up with. Sadly, lots of profiteering on these items. Prices are exorbitant on a lot of them.
 

jusme123

Senior Member
Location
NY
I’ve seen Brady and 3M lockout/tagout systems, I thought both where decent.

google ‘Brady or 3M electrical lockout kits’

I also agree with others, training is critical
 

480sparky

Senior Member
Location
Iowegia
Do NOT buy the big, 1,000,000-piece 'kits'. Purchase the individual components as you need. If you're not locking valves, you don't need a kit with valve LOTO. If you never lockout a simple toggle switch, then you don't need those either.

Find a kit that contains all the parts you will use, then add the other pieces the kit is missing.
 

paulengr

Senior Member
Ok, I’m a service engineer for a motor shop. Everybody is a customer, even pharma plants.

Buy components, not systems. The system sets are junk.

If you are setting up the system let me give you a huge hint. Us contractors have all kinds of locks. OSHA says the lockout locks need to be uniquely identifiable. So that means pick one lock and color right? That would be a mistake. Best most convenient way is to make it a candy stripe sticker such as red and white. That way every lock can be made a lockout lock in 10 seconds and an entire sheet of stickers costs under $1. Just hand a new contractor a sheet of stickers and they are covered. I carry a bag of almost every color of the rainbow of locks because safety departments get creative without thinking about contractors so locks become a pain for everybody and add an hour or more to every job scrambling to get the right locks.

If you are setting it up here are some other things to think about. If you do gang locks where you use a bunch of locks for one piece of equipment or area, put all the keys in one box, put a control lock on it, and everybody puts one lock on the box, do you want the box locks or the control lock to be different? Second people often need or want locks for all kinds of things that are not lockout. Get them a different color. Third what about locks that stretch over multiple shifts or when equipment may be down for days waiting on parts? This is when crew our department locks are needed. There is always some situation where the guy that put his personal lock on is gone on vacation or otherwise unavailable or maybe quit or was fired. For that same reason use a lock where they are easy to break with two wrenches instead of finding the bolt cutters nobody has. And that’s another reason to use scissors...easy removal. I know locks are supposed to be removed only by the owner, blah, blah, blah. That’s in safety manager fantasy land. The reality is it’s always a problem. Finally think about procedures around construction. When you start establishing lock out tag out and do you do something different. As a hint osha requires locks but optional tags in general industrial, and mandatory tags with optional locks for construction.

You will always need scissors, locks, and tags. Get the plastic tags. The paper ones fail way too easy. Get locks with at least a couple inches long shank so they are easy to put on awkward equipment. Get a canvas tool bag and put it all in there.

Some equipment requires up to 4-5 locks. I’ve even seen up to a dozen. If you run into this a lot get a lock box and keep a lock set in the box. This is over and above the standard equipment.

The two special cases are valve locks and a bunch of different breaker locks for distribution panels. I suggest staying away from both and here is why. It is a rare day that a valve lock fits a valve. I would say 99.9% of the time you end up either tagging it out or adding a chain in a way where you can chain up the valve and use a standard lock. Valve lock boxes are junk. They are too small for anything other than say a lawn spigot. There are just too many valve variations.

With distribution breakers, none of the little plastic aftermarket ones work. At best if you are lucky it might at least hold itself on. It won’t stop anyone from sliding it off or operating the breaker handle it is on. If policy allows, locking out the door to the panel is vastly more effective. The two systems that work is that on larger modern 3 phase breakers they often sell a kit you install on the breaker. These have a hinges metal plate and a hasp that actually works really well. The second I’ve seen is for lighting panels that uses a rod that mounts at the ends of the panel and goes all the way down between the breakers effectively locking them all either on or off although they can still trip. It is brand specific and not perfect and no better than locking the door out.

So I’m not a big fan of “systems”.
 
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