Safety procedures are often reviewed and updated to manage new risks in continuously changing industrial environments. When machinery is replaced and new machinery is implemented, safety procedures should be updated to maximise accident prevention.
A worldwide supplier of agriculture and materials science products contacted Brady to help update Lockout/Tagout procedures and tools. Their current tools could not keep pace with the new machinery or were not available when the machines had to be locked out. This caused delays in machine maintenance and increased risks for workplace safety and production continuity.
To help update Lockout/Tagout procedures, Brady provided the LINK360 software for safety procedure management. The software enables users to easily create new, or edit existing procedures, and offer them for feedback or approval from other, even international, stakeholders. With LINK360 it also becomes easier to copy machine specific best practices and to visualise Lockout/Tagout procedures by inserting pictures from the energy control points that need to be locked out.
Key planning is an important element in a safe Lockout/Tagout programme. It enables companies to establish rights of use by determining who can open which lock. To do this several key options for padlocks are available:
- Keyed different: each padlock can be only be opened with a different key
- Keyed alike: padlocks, or sets of padlocks, can be opened with the same key
- Master keyed: master keys and grand master keys can be assigned to team leaders, safety managers or plant managers to open multiple sets of keyed alike, or series of keyed different padlocks
Because availability of Lockout devices and padlocks on the workfloor proved an issue, Brady replaced fixed Lockout/Tagout tool distribution stations with light weight cable padlocks that can easily be carried by maintenance professionals on the job. Now, employees who need Lockout/Tagout tools to safeguard their lives, always have a practical lockout tool within arm’s reach. Thanks to its strong yet flexible cable, the cable padlock can be used as a visual deterrent to block a wide variety of energy control points in their ‘off’-position.
Padlock recognition & availability
To reinforce recognition of who or which team locked out which equipment, Brady offers 2 padlock options in addition to Lockout tags:
- Colour coding: each maintenance team can be assigned padlocks in a unique, identifying colour. Colour can also be used to distinguish between internal or external maintenance teams for example.
- Engraving: Brady can personalise each padlock by engraving team or employee names in the lock. This also helps teams or employees to retrieve their locks after maintenance is done.
Brady’s Lockout/Tagout solutions have proven to be highly durable. Our customer applied Brady’s cable padlock and a cheaper alternative in a common lockout context on-site above a condensate pot. 3 days later the cheaper padlock rusted away, opening up the energy control point for undesired reactivation. In contrast, Brady’s padlock was still in pristine condition four weeks later.
After testing, our customer purchased engraved cable padlocks for safer machine interventions. Brady engraved every padlock so employees can easily reclaim their locks after every lockout, further reducing the risk of losing tools on-site.