Lockout – tagout is the practice of the engagement of an electrical safety procedure that prevents unexpected start ups or surges of hazardous energy during maintenance or servicing activities on machinery and equipment.

Any time a property manager or field professional is dealing with the transfer or sales of highly valuable electrical machinery or equipment, it is vitally important to understand the need and meaning of lock out – tag out electrical safety procedures.

At least three million workers across the industries do service and maintenance. These workers are at risk if the lock out – tag out electrical safety procedures are not engaged. This practice has been estimated to prevent 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries every year. When exposures occur, workers miss on average 24 working days for recovery.   According to the United Auto Workers study, 20% of fatalities that happened to members between 1975 and 1995 were caused by the lack of hazardous energy control and a failure to have lock out -tag out electrical safety procedures properly in place.

Today these procedures are commonly used in general industry, marine terminals, in construction and in the long-shoring industry.

In twenty five states, Puerto Rico and on the Virgin Islands, there are Federally mandated OSHA approved plans and adopted processes for standard enforcement policies. Most of these adopted polices reflect the OSHA standards. Some have electrical safety procedures that differ slightly from standards currently used, however all of them are usually compliant with the turn off and disconnect of the machinery that comprise the core of the lock out – tag out electrical safety procedures most commonly used.

The lock out- tag out electrical safety procedures involve designated people who are required to turn off machinery and disconnect it from its energy source before performing any form of service or maintenance on the equipment. The authorized employee will then either lock – or tag the isolated device in a manner that prevents release of any hazardous energy, and then the authorized employee will take the necessary steps to verify the energy has been effectively isolated, and can not for any reason be engaged.

If you are a property manager, buyer or a repossession professional in the property management industry, anyone who comes into ownership either temporarily or permanently, needs to understand the importance of the lock out – tag out electrical safety procedures before investigating the working conditions of electrical machinery and equipment.

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