Lock out tag out, opinion!

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jameselectric

Senior Member
Ok, heres the situation. Working at a location and the plumber contact me about a piece of equipement(steamer, supply etc) that THEY are working on. they ask if i could trace out the circuit so THEY know which one it is so the power can be off.

I do trace and i identify. I turn off the breaker, I asked them do THEY have a lock out tag out, since THEY will be working on the equipement and i would not be, and that i wasnt going to put my lock on it. The 'new guy wasnt sure but assume that the 'new tools' that was issued to him on the cart did have one. He did not have it with him at the time. I did put a piece of 'red tape' on it, and let him see it and i labeled the equipement so he knew what circuit it was if he had to leave and get his tools (kit). I may have been wrong to ASSUME that he was going to tag it that day and fix it that day.

Well after a day when i wasnt there, the following day aparently there was other equipment that this circuit did affect, but there was no 'tag' to identify why the breaker was off. So the 'night shift electrician' went ahead and turned it back on and disconnectd the equipment that labeled out of order.

Now im being told that its the ELECTRICIANS that only suppose to put their lockout tag out on electrical. I was taught different, and always believed and practice that ANYONE working on or around any hazard can tag out electrical, or any other equipement. Am i wrong?? Well because there was NO INFO on about the 'taped breaker' this caused a little discussion. BUT I WAS NOT WORKING ON IT. I said the plumber was suppose to put his tag on it so people would know what was going on.

Whats your opinion??? Should my lock been on it, or HIS or both.??
 

BackInTheHabit

Senior Member
I would have installed a LOTO kit on it with your contact information on it. When you left it was turned off. People tend to ingnore tape over breakers and just pull it off. With it LO and TO it couldn't have been turned on without your ability to remove it. They then could have contacted you about why it was LO to begin with. I've never seen a plumber carry a LOTO kit.
 

jameselectric

Senior Member
BackInTheHabit said:
I would have installed a LOTO kit on it with your contact information on it. When you left it was turned off. People tend to ingnore tape over breakers and just pull it off. With it LO and TO it couldn't have been turned on without your ability to remove it. They then could have contacted you about why it was LO to begin with. I've never seen a plumber carry a LOTO kit.


Well i have seen plumbers with lock out tag out kits. Ive seen them lock valves open, ive seen them put there lock on with others 'tree' when doing PM's on big fans (HVAC) and on water heater breakers. It just seems like it should be standard to me for safety reasons for EVERYONE (trades that is) to have their own lock out tag out.

Again i did ASK him did he have his own lock out tag out, and also TOLD him i was not going to put mine on it since he was the one working on it i wasnt.
 
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BackInTheHabit

Senior Member
jameselectric said:
Well i have seen plumbers with lock out tag out kits. Ive seen them lock valves open, ive seen them put there lock on with others 'tree' when doing PM's on big fans (HVAC) and on water heater breakers. It just seems like it should be standard to me for safety reasons for EVERYONE (trades that is) to have their own lock out tag out.

I wasn't saying theat plumbers don't carry LOTO kits, just that I've never seen a plumber carry one for his own use.
 

ultramegabob

Senior Member
Location
Indiana
the only thing I think that you did wrong was turning the breaker off if you didnt want to be responsible for it, you should either turn it off and lock it out properly, or point and say "there is the breaker" and let it be his baby.... you kinda made yourself attached to the issue by putting tape over the breaker.
 

jameselectric

Senior Member
BackInTheHabit said:
I wasn't saying theat plumbers don't carry LOTO kits, just that I've never seen a plumber carry one for his own use.


Im sorry, but your statement does not make any common sense at all to me!!
What is the point of carrying a LOTO kit, if its not for your own use??? Isnt it suppose to protect your own safety?? Arent you the one suppose to have the only key?? I would assume that since you are NOT saying that plumbers dont carry loto, then i would hope its ok to 'assume' that you are saying that they do.
 

jameselectric

Senior Member
ultramegabob said:
the only thing I think that you did wrong was turning the breaker off if you didnt want to be responsible for it, you should either turn it off and lock it out properly, or point and say "there is the breaker" and let it be his baby.... you kinda made yourself attached to the issue by putting tape over the breaker.


the red tape was just for his easy identification, since he didnt have his kit and tools right there. It appeared that he was going to go get it.
 

Huevos

Member
I used to work at a large mfg. plant and this sort of thing came up often. In fact, almost the exact same thing happened to me with a plumber that wanted me to lock out for a piece of equipment he was working on. I refused, telling him that he was responsible to lock out what he was working on. He too had lock out devices for valves and such and said that he locked out equipment for other trades and thought I was being unreasonable. I like to think that I play well with others but I'm not going to lay my behind on the line just because a plumber dosn't understand OSHA rules. Well my supervisor, nice guy that he is, decided to put his lock on it in the interest of jobsite harmony. That solved everyones problem except that when they wanted to bring the system online my supervisor was on vacation. That was a dog and pony show.... :grin:
 

480sparky

Senior Member
Location
Iowegia
It sounds like this all boils down to whether plumbers should carry the LOTO parts to lockout breakers, discos, etc.

How many of us here can lockout a plumbing valve? A show of hands, please.
 

jameselectric

Senior Member
Huevos said:
I used to work at a large mfg. plant and this sort of thing came up often. In fact, almost the exact same thing happened to me with a plumber that wanted me to lock out for a piece of equipment he was working on. I refused, telling him that he was responsible to lock out what he was working on. He too had lock out devices for valves and such and said that he locked out equipment for other trades and thought I was being unreasonable. I like to think that I play well with others but I'm not going to lay my behind on the line just because a plumber dosn't understand OSHA rules. Well my supervisor, nice guy that he is, decided to put his lock on it in the interest of jobsite harmony. That solved everyones problem except that when they wanted to bring the system online my supervisor was on vacation. That was a dog and pony show.... :grin:

this is EXACTLY my point!! I wasnt going to be available
 

jameselectric

Senior Member
480sparky said:
It sounds like this all boils down to whether plumbers should carry the LOTO parts to lockout breakers, discos, etc.

How many of us here can lockout a plumbing valve? A show of hands, please.


*RAISING MY HAND HIGH* I can. In my area of work, sometimes we (plumbers, electricians) work on equipement where there are 'potential hazards' that affect both of us. The lock out tag out class i went thru clearly states that we (all persons working around potential hazards) need to be trained on the potential hazards and have their OWN lock on the equipment.
 

480sparky

Senior Member
Location
Iowegia
benaround said:
480, I can't think of a single reason why I would have to lock out a plumbing

valve.

Some equipment uses more than just electricity. There's steam, water (under pressure), hazardous gases or liquids, kinetic (such as a suspended weight or compressed/expended spring), etc.

Typically, you're in an industrial environment (such as a factory) when you get into this type of stuff, and they should have a LOTO kit you can use with your lock. But sometimes you run up across something out of the blue and you need to have your own LOTO pieces.
 

jim dungar

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Wisconsin
Occupation
Retired Electrical Engineer - Power Systems
You could have put on any lock instead of a personal LOTO lock, but it is the person working on the equipment that is responsible for their own LOTO. Personal LOTO locks should only be used as they are detailed in your company's LOTO program. OSHA has rules about the use (and removal) of personal LOTO locks when the owner is not on the premises. Many facilities have a "out of service" equipment lock procedure, for this reason.

My LOTO lock is mine, if I am working it is installed, if I leave the premises (even for lunch) it goes with me.
 

BackInTheHabit

Senior Member
jameselectric said:
Im sorry, but your statement does not make any common sense at all to me!!
What is the point of carrying a LOTO kit, if its not for your own use??? Isnt it suppose to protect your own safety?? Arent you the one suppose to have the only key?? I would assume that since you are NOT saying that plumbers dont carry loto, then i would hope its ok to 'assume' that you are saying that they do.

Simply put: In my experience, I have not seen a plumber with a LOTO kit. In my area at least, if you are not a licensed electrician you aren't allowed to do any electric work. That is why I haven't seen plumbers with LOTO kits. The electrician will LO the breaker while the plumber services the equipment. In most cases I've run into, the panels aren't even labeled correctly. The plumber has to call an electrician anyway to identify the circuit.

In my previous post. I wasn't trying to imply that plumbers SHOULDN'T carry LOTO, just that I haven't SEEN them with one. Kudos to those that do. I would be happy to LO the circuit for them with their own LOTO kit.

For what it's worth I agree with ultramegabob. If you didn't LOTO properly then don't do anything at all.

Anyway: If you felt what you did was the right thing to do in the situation, then stick to your guns.
 

480sparky

Senior Member
Location
Iowegia
jim dungar said:
....My LOTO lock is mine, if I am working it is installed, if I leave the premises (even for lunch) it goes with me.

That sounds dangerous. So if you are working on an existing circuit (say, you are relocating the load), you lock the breaker out. But during lunch, you unlock it?!?!?
 

jameselectric

Senior Member
BackInTheHabit said:
Simply put: In my experience, I have not seen a plumber with a LOTO kit. .
How long have you been in the trade?? Im just curious. and what work have you done?
BackInTheHabit said:
In my area at least, if you are not a licensed electrician you aren't allowed to do any electric work. That is why I haven't seen plumbers with LOTO kits. .
Ok in my area, plumbers CAN disconnect the wires to an electric water heater and install waters heaters. But even if they dont do that in your area, this is not an excuse for them to not have a loto.

BackInTheHabit said:
The electrician will LO the breaker while the plumber services the equipment. .
The only time the electrician is OBLIGATED to LO the breaker is if he is working on that equipment as well. This is actually a VIOLATION of Osha for the plumber to work on the equipment using someelses loto. Are you not aware of that?

BackInTheHabit said:
In most cases I've run into, the panels aren't even labeled correctly. The plumber has to call an electrician anyway to identify the circuit..
Thats fine, and that was what i did, trace out the circuit and identify it. But it still doesnt excuse the plumber from putting his lock on it.

BackInTheHabit said:
I would be happy to LO the circuit for them with their own LOTO kit...
this is just ridiculous to me!! why would you need to loto anything WITH someone elses kit?? this is also a VIOLATION of osha.

BackInTheHabit said:
For what it's worth I agree with ultramegabob. If you didn't LOTO properly then don't do anything at all....
I think you and ultramegabob missed the point, THIS WAS NOT A LOTO PERIOD!! I wasnt trying to LOTO, and that is why i did not do it.

BackInTheHabit said:
Anyway: If you felt what you did was the right thing to do in the situation, then stick to your guns.
Its not just a matter of feeling, its actually a matter of 'osha procedures'.
 

Huevos

Member
480sparky said:
It sounds like this all boils down to whether plumbers should carry the LOTO parts to lockout breakers, discos, etc.

How many of us here can lockout a plumbing valve? A show of hands, please.

I agree with your practicality, really, but OSHA is very clear on this and lets face it, OSHA isn't practical. Just look at the ladder safety rules... :rolleyes:
 

BackInTheHabit

Senior Member
jameselectric said:
How long have you been in the trade?? Im just curious. and what work have you done?

Ok in my area, plumbers CAN disconnect the wires to an electric water heater and install waters heaters. But even if they dont do that in your area, this is not an excuse for them to not have a loto.

The only time the electrician is OBLIGATED to LO the breaker is if he is working on that equipment as well. This is actually a VIOLATION of Osha for the plumber to work on the equipment using someelses loto. Are you not aware of that?

Thats fine, and that was what i did, trace out the circuit and identify it. But it still doesnt excuse the plumber from putting his lock on it.

this is just ridiculous to me!! why would you need to loto anything WITH someone elses kit?? this is also a VIOLATION of osha.

I think you and ultramegabob missed the point, THIS WAS NOT A LOTO PERIOD!! I wasnt trying to LOTO, and that is why i did not do it.

Its not just a matter of feeling, its actually a matter of 'osha procedures'.

15 years mostly residential. Last couple of years commercial.

I'm not trying to make excuses for the plumbers.

So, if an electrician LO a breaker with a plumbers LOTO are you saying that is an OSHA violation?

Can you provide a link for the OSHA statements you are making?
 
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