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Tag Archives: Lockout Tagout Automation Software

Simple Lockout/Tagout Procedures Some Overlook Create Material Risk

By Stenning Schueppert, Total Safety Senior VP—Stratgety, Marketing & Corporate Development

For those responsible for personnel safety during a shutdown procedure (that’s everyone), this is for you. For those unfamiliar with lockout/tagout (LOTO) regulations, you should be aware of current deficiencies within our industry regarding the topic, as well as potential corrective actions that should be taken tomorrow to improve safety within your facility.

The three most common LOTO problems are lack of proper procedures, lack of adequate training and improper tag use. If our industry steps back to investigate these issues, we will note proper procedures and training have less correlation with team members not following protocol but more to do with companies failing to provide personnel with the knowledge, training, systems and support they need to protect their own safety and, ultimately, the safety of the people and assets around them.

How can safety issues with such directly addressable solutions survive? We should more proactively highlight and address this concern and, to influence better behavior, we should first address opinion: injuries—and even fatalities—have occurred from not sticking to LOTO procedures. A fatality in June related to improper blinding procedures at a downstream facility is similar: small missteps, material risk. The hazardous environments we work in daily are respected; the safety procedures within those environments need to be treated with that same level of respect.

The lack of procedures and training may lead to the third problem—improper tag use. But Keith Davis, president of Application Factory, noted these needless incidents “occur for a variety of reasons, such as lack of understanding about what needs to be tagged, or the inevitability of human error.” Human error can be minimized with clear and concise LOTO procedures and systems in place and, coupled with sufficient training, companies can successfully rectify this safety gap.

While the above solution sounds ideal, it may not be. An unfortunately common and growing problem is workers are provided with general LOTO training on the job, but the procedures (or lack thereof) fail to address all safety aspects to do it effectively. Like the use of locks to ensure the energy sources (and not just electricity) remain disconnected; the disconnect locations for the energy sources, the procedures for bleeding, blocking and verifying energy sources have been rendered safe; clearly labeling each lock with a durable tag (or durable label or marking) to identify the worker assigned to a lock that is used to secure an energy control device; and more.

Once developed, consistent reinforcement of the facility’s procedures is certainly a great way to keep the message of LOTO safety in the forefront of workers’ minds. Another improvement would be to create a balance between man and technology; the industry is finally evolving from traditional handwritten tags to automated LOTO solutions even a novice can operate as they are engineered specifically to prevent human error.

But it is not just up to management, HSE or maintenance to keep personnel safe.

Team members must be proactive themselves during LOTO by:

  • Following the regulations in the employer’s hazardous energy control program.
  • Completing all employer-provided training on hazardous energy control procedures.
  • Ensuring, before beginning any adjustment, maintenance or servicing work, all sources of hazardous energy are de-energized; all forms of hazardous energy, including electrical breaker panels and control valves are properly locked and tagged; and all stored energy sources are blocked or dissipated.
  • Verifying only one key exists for each of your assigned locks and only you hold that key.
  • Testing and/or observing all energy sources are de-energized.

Keeping those principles at the forefront of your mind will provide the greatest reward of all—having everyone return home safely after each and every shift.

For more information, log onto, call us at (888) 448-6825 or email.


Total Safety Partners with Application Factory, Now Exclusive Distributor for DangerTags

DangerTags Lockout Tagout Automation SystemMarch 21, 2012 – Total Safety, the leading global industrial safety services company based in Houston, Texas, has partnered with Application Factory to become their exclusive distributor for DangerTags Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) Automation System, a proprietary lockout/tagout software and hardware system that allows for the automation of the lockout/tagout process.

“We are excited to be able to offer this unique and advanced solution to our refining, petrochemical, and all our other industrial and energy customers and look forward to introducing it at the upcoming OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) conferences in the coming months,” noted Mark Barker, vice president of global sales at Total Safety.

The DangerTags LOTO Automation System is Web-based, WiFi-enabled Windows® compatible lockout/tagout software designed to increase efficiency in creating complete and accurate lockout/tagout packages that include tags, field lists and associated documents, to help companies meet OSHA safety requirements by reducing lockout/tagout inconsistencies caused by manual processes and handwritten tags.

The DangerTags LOTO Automation System allows for the effective and efficient management of OSHA lockout/tagout compliance concerns. The system eliminates the opportunity for inadvertent or unapproved changes to lockout/tagout procedures through security controlled access for two distinct user groups: day-to-day users and administrative users.

Day-to-day users have everything they need to efficiently perform energy isolation duties but cannot alter procedures. Administrative users are given powerful data management tools and full rights to define and alter energy isolation procedures. The DangerTags application, used to its fullest extent, helps fulfill all of the requirements of the CFR 29 Section 1910.147 by putting in place an energy control program that enforces corporate standards, documents processes, prints OSHA compliant lockout/tagout tags and automatically generates reports for periodic reviews and audits.

About Total Safety
Total Safety, a Warburg Pincus portfolio company based in Houston, Texas, is the world’s premier outsourced provider of integrated safety and compliance solutions and the products necessary to support them. As the global safety solutions leader, Total Safety provides services and products to support: onsite safety, turnaround safety, gas detection, respiratory protection, rescue, safety training, fire protection, safety compliance and inspection, industrial hygiene, onsite emergency medical treatment/paramedics, communications systems, engineered system design and materials management. It operates from more than 134 locations in 18 countries to ensure the safe Wellbeing of Workers Worldwide (W3).

About Application Factory
Application Factory, Inc. is a software development firm providing custom and packaged solutions to Fortune 500 petrochemical companies.

For additional information and inquiries, contact:
Stenning Schueppert
Vice President – Strategy & Corporate Development, Total Safety

Keith Davis
President, Application Factory