Lockout/Tagout is defined as the placement of a lock or tag on an energy isolation device indicating that the device is not to be operated until the tag or lock has been removed. Lockout is a complete program used to control hazardous energy and preventing injuries in the workplace. It provides the much required visual caution when performing maintenance on the machinery, thus reducing the high risk of injuries. Lockout Tag out (LOTO) program is important in the following ways:
1. Preventing Injuries at the work place
With the LOTO system in place, workers will take the precautionary measures when handling machines with the tag. By taking caution, workers will be able to reduce the exposure to injuries to themselves and their fellow workmates. The LOTO program is put in place to set the procedures to follow when a machine is in need of repair or just a routine maintenance. If these LOTO procedures are followed to the letter, the cases of injuries reported will be few and injuries will be less.
2. Minimizes the risk of exposure to hazardous energy and electric shock.
With the LOTO program and set procedures, the handling of defective machinery will cautionary. all machinery will be switched off and communication to all the other employees in advance. This will prevent the accidental switching on of the machines when being repaired, in turn reducing the emission of the hazardous energy which will put the lives of the employees at risk.
3. Save lives.
Some of these injuries can prove to be fatal. This fatal can claim scores of employees lives in the long run. Without LOTO, employees are not able to take precaution when handling the machinery during repairs and maintenance. Many lives are lost because of neglect by organizations but with LOTO, many lives can be spared by proving the necessary caution.
4. Minimizes exposure to litigation.
By minimizing the injuries in the workplace, the institution will reduce its exposure to court cases in which injured employees will sue the company for compensation due to the injuries gotten within the organization’s premises. If the organization is taken to court, it will incur so many charges in terms of legal fees and compensation for the injured employee. With a successful LOTO program, less injuries means less litigation for the organization preventing negative publicity for the organization.
5. Instilling employees confidence and trust in the organization.
With LOTO in place, employees will have peace of mind knowing that they are working in safe environment hence they will put all their energy into their work. They will be focused on their duties hence the company will be effective due to the effective labor force. By creating a safe working environment, more employees would be willing to work for the organization thus increasing the efficiency of the company by decreasing the time needed to complete a certain task or assignment.
6. Increased Profits.
With increased efficiency from the employees, the company’s productivity increases as the employees will work more. This will in turn maximize the organizations profits greatly. This will be of benefit to both the organization and its employees. This will lead to the expansion of the company or organization thus increasing the employment opportunities to the many jobless youths. This is an indirect importance of the LOTO program. The company will also reduce costs on purchasing new machinery, because the LOTO program will ensure that the machinery is handled by the professionals thus reducing the chances of the machine breaking down. This will save the company a lot of money.
7. Recognition from the relevant bodies.
Organizations which have successfully implemented the LOTO program, receive the much required recognition and awards for having few or no injuries. This in turn reciprocates into positive publicity for the organization, instilling confidence on potential investors and clients willing to work with the organization. In some states, companies receive benefits and discounts on workers compensation if there are few accidents reported.