WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GROUP LOCKOUT?
Keeping your employees safe during maintenance with Group Lockout.
Group Lockout is defined as a lockout device that assists more than one employee performing maintenance on a single piece of equipment simultaneously.
Similar to a personal lockout, there should only ever be one authorised employee/supervisor that is in charge of the entire group lockout.
Each employee must affix their own personal lock on each group lockout device or group lockbox.
Requirements for Authorised Employee or Supervisor in charge.
It is a requirement that a single authorised employee or supervisor must assume the overall responsibility for all the maintenance workers, while there is work in progress.
When assigning a single individual to assume the entire responsibility, it is crucial that this authorised employee be familiar with the types and magnitudes of the energy sources that they will be exposed to while working on this piece of equipment.
The supervisor with overall responsibility must:
• Communicate the purpose of the maintenance to the whole group of maintenance workers.
• Ensure that the LOTO procedure has been followed correctly.
While performing a group lockout, the most important aspect of the lockout is that every employee performing the maintenance applies their own lock to each group lockout device or lockbox.
There are two different methods that can be followed for Group Lockout, the first being the hasp method.
HASP METHOD FOR GROUP LOCKOUT
In order to allow for more than one lock (more than one person working on the same machinery shutdown) on each energy disconnect, a hasp is used. The hasp is a LOTO device that allows for up to six different locks to be placed on any energy disconnect.
The supervisor will place their lock on the hasp first, then every other employee performing the maintenance must place their lock on the hasp also. Additionally, it is crucial to remember that every other employee has the right to inspect the lockout prior to affixing their locks.
Here are a few of the scenarios that will prove the hasp method to be beneficial, they include:
• Lockout of equipment that isn’t complex.
• With employees that have multiple personal locks provided by employer.
• Few employees involved in group lockout (2 or 3 persons)
GROUP LOCKBOX METHOD FOR GROUP LOCKOUT
Unlike the hasp method, the group lockbox method only requires one employee to affix multiples locks to the machine, while everyone else applied just their locks to the lockbox. The supervisor will be required to place personal locks on each energy disconnect, place the keys of those locks inside the lockbox, and lock the lockbox with an additional personal lock. Next, the other employees performing the service will inspect the lockout and afterwards place their own personal lock on the lockbox as well. If another employee joins the lockout or if anyone leaves, they are responsible for adding or removing their own lock. The situations that make the lockbox the more efficient method include:
• Lockout of complex equipment (5 or more sources)
• When each employee has 1 or 2 personal locks from employer.
• Large number of employees involved in the maintenance.
• When employees will be joining and leaving the lockout frequently (shift changes etc)
The supervisor should be the first person to apply their lock and the last to remove it from the group lockbox; they are also responsible for restoring the unit to normal operation after all servicing is complete.