Lockout/tagout annual audits are essential for maintaining a functional, compliant program, and are required by the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). At a minimum, OSHA requires that each energy control procedure in the facility be reviewed annually to confirm it accurately reflects the equipment’s energy sources. OSHA also requires a sampling audit of authorized employees to confirm they fully understand their responsibilities and proper usage of the lockout/tagout procedures.
Annual Lockout/Tagout Program Auditing
Are You Ready for an Annual Inspection?
As of 2021, failing to comply with lockout/tagout regulations is the #1 most cited OSHA regulation in the manufacturing industry
As a global leader in lockout/tagout services, our LOTO engineers can help you perform annual lockout/tagout audits – and avoid OSHA citations and employee injuries.
OSHA requires that every machine-specific procedure is audited every year. The purpose of an annual audit is to verify the accuracy and efficacy of lockout/tagout procedures, to ensure that any changes or alterations to equipment or machines that may affect a procedure are properly updated, and to confirm that authorized employees know how to follow lockout/tagout procedures correctly and lockout a piece of equipment. Not only is the program required to be audited annually, but there needs to be record of the audit: who conducted it, when was it conducted, what machines and which employees were audited.
But preparing for a LOTO audit doesn’t have to monopolize your time and resources.
Enlisting our team to help with the annual LOTO auditing process can yield an excellent ROI. Letting us drive the auditing process can benefit your operations by reducing downtime and the need to pull staff from the plant floor.
Annual Procedure Audits
Performing a Review of All Machine-Specific Procedures
The purpose of procedure audits is to identify any deviations or inadequacies in the current procedures. Our lockout/tagout engineers consider the following:
- Are the procedures and correlating energy isolation tags present and legible?
- Are all energy sources accounted for?
- Do procedures accurately represent associated machinery?
An annual review of your lockout/tagout program is the perfect opportunity for employers to identify possible weaknesses in their program. If the review is conducted thoroughly and with a focus on safety, employers can correct possible deficiencies before they result in consequences.
Annual Authorized Employee Audits
Reviewing Employee Knowledge of LOTO Procedures
Annual audits of employees’ knowledge of lockout/tagout procedures are a great way to gauge strengths and weaknesses on the subject and the program. This includes procedure efficiency, means of enforcement, program management, and the effectiveness of employee training.
Here are a few example questions we ask employees to gauge employee proficiency:
- What is the importance of lockout/tagout?
- When is a machine required to be locked out?
- What are the steps to shutdown and startup?
- Does the employee understand how to isolate each type of energy source?
- Does the employee understand how to apply devices, locks, and tags properly?
- When is a group lockout necessary?
These questions will allow employers to gain an understanding of their authorized employees’ knowledge of lockout/tagout and ensure that they are using the program correctly. If any deficiencies are found, further training will be recommended. Another option is annual refresher training, which Rockwell Automation can provide.