Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

Is Lockout / Tagout a Safety Priority in your Warehouse?

Posted by Thelma Marshall on Apr 25, 2019 4:00:00 AM

Lockout/tagout regulations have been in effect for more than 28 years, yet these protocols are still one of the most challenging for companies to facilitate. Does your facility make it a safety priority? risk-1945683_640

A telematic lockout/tag out function makes vehicles inoperable during safety check questions, repairs, or maintenance. Without a doubt, proper protocol should be a top priority in order to protect forklift operators and workers on the warehouse floor.

The risk is real. Forklifts can be one of the most dangerous vehicles in a warehouse. The warehousing industry has about 20,000 workers injured in forklift accidents each year. But, OSHA reports that 3 out of 10 employers have no lockout/tagout program at all. Are you one of them?

Here are the top reasons you need this safety function in place:

  1. Accidents, injuries, and fatalities can be reduced up to 80 percent, according to OSHA.
  2. Compliance with lockout/tagout regulations prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year.
  3. Regulations require employers to enforce safety procedures that totally isolate machinery from the energy sources that drive them when safety is a concern. Failing to use a lockout is one of OSHA’s most cited safety violations, resulting in the organization collecting more than $7.7 million in associated penalties each year.
  4. Lockout/tagout can minimize equipment downtime, increasing productivity.
  5. Repairs are made a priority when a vehicle will no longer operate. Postponing forklift repairs and using damaged equipment can make the problem worse. Fast repair saves money.
  6. Making this a safety priority reduces lost employee time and insurance costs.

So, lockout/tagout is one of the most important procedural steps you can take to prevent costly injuries in your facility. But once you implement these safety procedures, how can you possibly control them?

Only 10 percent of companies with fleet vehicles run an effective lockout/tagout program. What’s their secret to success? Software that manages and controls it for you.

A lockout/tagout solution that works

A telematics system with lockout/tagout functionality ensures safety procedures are followed. For example, when there is a repair needed or a safety concern, equipment or lift-trucks won’t operate, and everyone is kept informed as to why.

So, it not only locks down the vehicle, but can also be used to alert employees that certain pieces of equipment have been temporarily disabled or taken out of service. 

The takeaway

On average, workers lose 24 work days for recuperation due to injuries caused by machinery not being properly shut off. A telematic lockout/tag out function can ensure equipment is completely shut off and kept from restarting and being used during maintenance or repair service. 

Topics: osha inspection, safety improvements, safety versus productivity, limit risks, lockout/tagout function, accident reporting