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Machine safety: is it on or off?

07 September 2021

With the increased demand on our industrial workforce, many facilities are expanding the “do more with less” approach when it comes to machine safety.

Today, environmental, health and safety (EHS) and similar professionals are more likely to have their responsibilities expanded beyond programs such as Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) and Confined Space. They may now be expected to design and test functional safety devices that, historically, were the responsibility of the plant engineer or equipment manufacturer.
However, there is still confusion about when to use LOTO and when to use alternative protective measures (APM).

OSHA’s Control of Hazardous Energy regulation (1910.147) allows for alternative methodologies to be used, so long as they are “as effective as Lockout/Tagout” for the task – and that’s where many companies run into problems. Often, companies use the exception clause to allow the employee to “create their own path” to safety if Lockout/Tagout is impractical. But this should not increase the risk to employees.

These five steps will help you mitigate the risk associated with potential hazards...

Read the full article in DPA's September issue

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