Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

The Importance of Lockout/Tagout Functionality for Forklift Safety

Posted by Thelma Marshall on Jan 11, 2018 4:14:00 AM

Only 10 percent of companies with fleet vehicles run an effective lockout/tagout program. And OSHA reports up to 3 out of 10 employers have no lockout/tagout prograopen-159121_1280.pngm at all.

Why is this forklift safety function so important to operator safety, and why is it such a challenge for so many businesses? Let’s take a closer look.

What is lockout/tagout?

When sidelined machines and industrial equipment are used, even when they are deemed unsafe, it can lead to serious injuries. Using the lockout/tagout safety procedure can help ensure equipment is completely shut off and kept from use during maintenance or repair service. 

Appropriate lockout/tagout measures, like those found in a telematics system, can alert employees that certain pieces of equipment have been temporarily disabled or taken out of service.  Essentially, the equipment or lift-truck won’t operate, and everyone is kept informed as to why.

Why is lockout so important?

Regulations require employers to put safety procedures in place to protect workers by totally isolating machinery from the energy sources that drive them. Failing to use a lockout is one of OSHA’s most cited safety violations. In fact, the organization collects more than $7.7 million in associated penalties each year.

Here’s more:

  • On average, workers lose 24 work days for recuperation due to injuries caused by machinery not being properly shut off.
  • When workers follow lockout standards, accidents, injuries, and fatalities can be reduced up to 80 percent, according to OSHA.
  • Compliance with lockout/tagout regulations prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year.

What makes lockout compliance difficult?

After 28 years in effect, the OSHA lockout regulation remains one of the most challenging for companies to facilitate. Why?

  • The sporadic nature of when a lockout is required can be logistically challenging.
  • Most companies lack adequately trained personnel with knowledge of correct procedures.

How can telematic features like “Compliance to Lockout/Tagout” help?

Ensuring machinery and forklifts are inoperable during maintenance reduces risk and operator injuries.

It can save lives.

Compliance to lockout/tagout procedures prevents approximately 250,000 accidents, 50,000 injuries, and 120 fatalities annually.

It reduces costs.

Compliance reduces lost employee time and insurance costs. In countries where lockout standards are followed, related accidents, injuries and fatalities drop by 80 percent or more.

It facilitates productivity improvements.

Lockout/tagout can minimize equipment downtime.

Telematics for your fleet

A telematic lockout/tag out function should make vehicles inoperable during safety check questions, repairs, or maintenance. Safety, maintenance, and unit reports can also provide data on why a forklift is in lockout, the duration, and the operator, putting you in control of compliance.

Topics: OSHA compliance, proactive warehouse solutions, safety improvements, lockout/tagout function

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