Why Not Take Lockout Tagout Seriously 4
1910.147(c)(6) Periodic Inspection (500 violations)
The employer shall conduct a periodic inspection of the energy control procedure at least annually to ensure that the procedure and the requirements of this standard are being followed.
Right alongside training and communication lies the follow-up protocol of periodic inspections. You’ve outlined and defined your procedure, trained and retrained your employees and equipped them with what they need to get the job done safely and efficiently. But it doesn’t end there. Not only do employees come and go, but so does your equipment and the skill sets of the employee if the task is not performed on a regular basis. Annual auditing is a key component of maintaining your LOTO program in highest regard for safety and productivity.
Periodic inspections/audits will help companies maintain the established procedures to minimize risk along with maintaining compliance, and ultimately protecting the investment of the safety program. The purpose of an annual audit is to verify all required procedures are in place, accurate, effective and optimized to the ideal lockout process. Inspecting each employee on the proper lockout process and retraining employees is vital in order to achieve effective execution of the program. Companies also s hould provide comprehensive documentation of these annual audits being conducted and keep these records of dedication to protect their investment in the program, as audit records and documentation are compliance requirements as well.
The three steps to a successful audit program include meeting the appropriate frequency of annual periodic inspections at a minimum, ensuring authorized employees are competently trained to audit, and certifying that the inspections are being performed with proper documentation.
An environment that is highly productive and efficient is a culture where employees are secure, safe and cared for. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a safe and healthy workplace not only protects workers from injury and illness, it can also lower injury/illness costs, reduce absenteeism and turnover, increase productivity and quality, and raise employee morale. In other words, safety is not just a good practice—it is good for business.