LOTO standard for safety and 5S's standard for efficient workplace.

The lockout tagout (also known as lock-out Tag-out or simply Lock out Tag out)and 5S standard and procedure is internationally recognized practice to ensure a accident less, safe and efficient work place.

Lockout and Tagout procedure for safe work place.

“LOTO” means lockout & Tagout. Say you have to work in a live high voltage line or you are likely be amidst a high power rotating system (as real example – when you have opened a engines gear box cover- its a dangerous area if engine is suddenly started, but you are inside.) Think about it as simple as possible but practice this concept hard. For example, You switched off/isolated an electrical system then start working, the switch room and your work area is certainly in different section. Now if another body comes in the switch room and turn on the switch what would be happening?

Thus the concept comes ” LOTO “. You have to lock the operating switch with padlock , keep the key to yourself so that nobody can operate it other then you and put a caution sign called tag out like “Man working, do not operate.” with the padlock. Doing this you can continue to work. But in modern safe working require adding another term- called “Log out “. The concept is to Log the job/work to a central authority that you are working what and where. When you are starting the work or finished the work, you log or inform central section by written job order, this practice will save you. If something should be happening to you like you become faint, injured or a fire broke out in other place how other people know that you are working inside a system- a critical area.

I know two incident of this type of accidents. In a plant an electrician just cleaning the heavy exhaust fan blade which was inside a confined chamber- switch is in other place. Somebody might came by the switch and thought how come the exhaust fan is switched off and turned on the switch. Having started the fan, as it has heavy torque, steel blade the electrician become pile of flesh and bone.

Another incident happened in a Government owned power plant. An engines is to be under scheduled maintenance. The lube oil is drained out. Electrical team working on the alternator head section (this engines is more than 8 MW capacity , is like a giant bus) and mechanical team working on the engine. Everything is fine, but a crazy folk was came by the engine main control and by mistake push the start switch, as the breaker was not opened, it had grid power – the engine start rotating. Can you imagine yourself in this situation sitting top of the engine and a dead engine became live by some magic. Well in that case no human loss occurred, but engine was mechanically seized as the lube oil was drained out.

lockout tagout

Lockout Tagout
When working in a electrical system switch off the breaker, lock the switch operating with padlock, keep the key to yourself and put a caution sign like “Do not operate, Under maintenance”

The 5S standards for- workplace productivity, quality and safety improvement:

Just think about it, an emergency shutdown of system has occurred, a 13 size simple bolt has been broken, To restore the system all is needed replace a new bolt. So 13 size spanner and bolt is needed. But with an inefficient tools inventory the availability of finding proper tools might cause delay, thus unwanted downtime. In this case if the spanner and bolt were to placed in a proper place, it would took only 5 minute to replace it.

The 5S’s standard has been internationally recognized for workplace safety, proper utilization and higher productivity. The 5s’s are as follows – Sort(Categorize the object), Set(Set the object in places), Shine(regularly maintain the cleaning), Standardize (Make the procedure a standard to follow and practice), Sustain (Maintain the procedure uniformly).

[From Wikipedia] 5S is the name of a workplace organization method that uses a list of five Japanese words: seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke. Transliterated or translated into English, they all start with the letter “S”. The list describes how to organize a work space for efficiency and effectiveness by identifying and storing the items used, maintaining the area and items, and sustaining the new order.

the 5s's standards
The tools are neat and clean plus well organized.

5s's standards
The cleaning area is properly marked.

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