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Made by Monkeys

Double-Lock the Lock-Outs, or Lose a Hand

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Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: When you're right, your right.
Ann R. Thryft   3/14/2012 12:45:42 PM
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I think you're right, Chuck. I've had too many parallel experiences in an office environment, which is fortunately somewhat less hazardous than the environment described here. Yet dangerous enough when monkeys are involved. And Jim has a really good point--what if it was some awful caustic liquid? 


water.ratz
User Rank
Iron
Fundamentals of LOTO
water.ratz   3/14/2012 1:02:52 PM
Any persons engaged in activities requiring LOCK OUT TAG OUT should have had LOTO training. One of the VERY FIRST things you are taught in this training is that EACH person working on a given machine / system is to apply their OWN lock and tag. The ONLY person allowed to posses a key for that lock, is the person who installed the lock. NOBODY ELSE. If this fundamental premise of the LOTO system is removed, you might as well abandon it.

 

Enough Said!

 Fred Engineer
User Rank
Bronze
LOTO Basics
Fred Engineer   3/14/2012 2:05:45 PM
I agree with Water.Ratz.  LOTO is the single most important safety process in any facility.  One lock, one key, for each worker.  When we do group LOTO, the Energy Owner locks out the equipment usually following a step-by-step written procedure, then locks the key or keys in a lockbox.  Then EVERY worker hangs a lock on the lockbox.  No one has a copy of an individual workers key.  Cutting off a lock requires a strict procedure including calling the employee and Division Leader approval.  Cutting off a lock or defeating a LOTO is grounds for disciplinary action.  You have to take this stuff seriously!  As Water.Ratz pointed out, the first step is LOTO training.  If anything I said is surprising, then you probably haven't been trained properly.

CliffG
User Rank
Iron
Following OSHA reg's would have prevented this
CliffG   3/14/2012 2:28:49 PM
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Water.ratz and Fred are correct, and Rob Horton should NOT have been doing this work without getting and following the required OSHA training. Lockout padlocks must have one key controlled by the worker, not a lock that anyone else has a key to. I'm doing a LOTO training refesher later today, and each of my employees has a one-key padlock and set of tags. The root cause here is that the worker did not use his personal padlock, secondary is the monkey that removed the lock that was in place, third is the company's attitude that production is the first priority.

rcwithlime
User Rank
Silver
Sometimes that is what it takes
rcwithlime   3/16/2012 3:50:48 PM
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Set an example when something is done that stupid and dangerous, to show others that such actions do have a consequence.

Also, if an accident had happened, not only would that co. be sued by the injured, but also fined by OSHA, and the individual sued as well.

But nothing makes up for lost limbs, etc.

Thank you.

rcwithlime
User Rank
Silver
Actually, I was not aware that there was more than one key.
rcwithlime   3/16/2012 4:05:13 PM
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And neither was the maintenance man that assisted me. He was screaming how was it unlocked without cutting it off, as he had the key in his pocket? (As the lock was once again hanging on the wall.) It was then that we found out that they had previously experianced issues with someone locking out and then leaving when their shift was done, taking the keys home with them. the next crew would finalize the repairs, but equipement still could not be turned on.  Then came the issue on who was holding and controlling the duplicates. We were advised it was the foreman, who was unavailable at that time. The maintenance man filed a grevience with the Union before I left. I did not pursue this any further, although I could (and probably should have) called OSHA. In reality, if you make too much of a stink at a facility doing a lot of business with your co. and you lose them a huge sum of $, your chances for survival in that position are greatly diminished. Right or wrong, that is reality. In this case I had a family to support. I could push the issue, and 3 month later be replaced. I did advise my mgmt, but with no injury, those pencil pushers brushed it off.  Even though I was the lead tech, lose a co. enough $, and something will hit the fan.

rcwithlime
User Rank
Silver
Those posing that I needed LOTO training, are correct
rcwithlime   3/16/2012 4:19:07 PM
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At that time I was not aware of proper LOTO. The co. I worked was (and still is) a major chemical pump mfg and sells both domestically and internationally. It should have been mgmt's responsibility to know of and provide proper training. The co. I worked for before this one, I traveled and performed product start up, maintencance, and training as well for 7yrs. That co. also did not train me on LOTO proceedures.  I will admit that I was ingnorant of proper regulations, until after this occurance. Even afterwards, LOTO training was not provided. And believe me, when you are working at various plants and start using your own lock, you do hear people in charge of production "complain" (with a capitol "B"). That is whay I included my contact infomation as well as dept I was working in, and dept mgr's contact as well, on my tag.

Once again, excellent postings and you are correct. It was my error through ignorance as well as that of my co's and the co. that I was working at.

 

rcwithlime
User Rank
Silver
Thankfully you are still around to tell about this.
rcwithlime   3/16/2012 4:22:04 PM
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And nice to hear that your company took this incident seriously.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
LOckouts and the defeating of same.
William K.   3/17/2012 12:21:39 AM
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Double lockout is one option, it was not available in the one area since it was where the machines were being built. My solution was to lock out the disconnect switch, remove the fuses, and tie the three phases togather downstream of the switch. This combination was enough to prevent the monkys from being able to switch on the power without going to more effort than they were willing to expend. And the short circuit insured that they would be noticed, and I would be able to move clear, before anything could start. Yes, it was extreme, but it worked well. PLUS, I did not need any training to figure it out. 

David12345
User Rank
Platinum
Re: LOckouts and the defeating of same.
David12345   3/18/2012 5:35:48 PM
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YES! Lock-out and Tag-out  (LOTO) is one of the basic fundamental safety needs when operating in an industrial maintenance environment.

I have annual LOTO training in every job I have had with access to industrial equipment. This has included being issued my own set of locks. Each person with hands in the action had their own locks on the lock out. I would fully expect termination from unauthorized removal of a lock.  Unauthorized means removing any lock except your own. One cautious exception: If you forgot to remove your lock from one of the energy sources, or the work was finished on a different shift, your supervisor or the safety director COULD talk to you directly, or by phone, to CONFIRM that you were done in the machine, AND with that same supervisor sign-off taking personal responsibility. (In my 32 years in industry, I have never personally known this to happen.  I have known supervisors to call an employee back-in to remove his own lock on two separate occasions with different employees.)

When I worked at Dupont they instituted a Lock, Tag, and Try procedure.  This required a LOTO AND an attempt to start the equipment to verifiy that lock-out was effective, in case, circuits were mislabeled before lock-out.  Inproper lock-out can frequently be a likely risk of death or serious injury. I only knew of one case when this too failed, when tank stirrers were on an automatic timer tied to processing and were mislabeled.  I was not close to this incident, but I understand it led to 2 deaths.  Very sad, but it shows how important this is.

From my experience, Dupont had strong safety policy tied to the company's explosives manufacturing history with owner family-members business-related explosion deaths. This safety focus was reinforced in current times for management support, by immediate plant manager termination if there was a death in his plant!  Plant managers would therefore error on the side of being overly focused on safety. (Certainly, the better way to err.) If a major safety procedure was violated, that was also grounds for immediate termination.

The only commonly prepared-for safety-related items that seem as extreme to me as LOTO would be firefighting "BLEVE" explosion, fire "flashover", and high-voltage "arc-flash" hazards being underestimated.

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