According to the OSHA 1910.147 Standard, when servicing or maintenance is performed by a crew or group, employers must use a procedure that provides employees with a level of protection equivalent to the implementation of a personal lockout or tagout device. To accomplish this, personal lockout padlocks can be attached to a group lockout device, such as a Hasp or Group Lockbox.
When there are many energy sources or many employees, the Haps Method of Group lockout can become overly complex and expensive. The Group Lockbox Method is perfect for when there is:
5 or more isolation points
Each employee has 1 or 2 personal locks from the employer
Large number of employees involved in group lockout operation
When employees will be joining and leaving the lockout frequently(shift change, etc.)
The Group Lockbox Method: The steps to locking out
The employee in charge of the isolation(Known as the Isolation Owner) must isolate, Lockout, Tagout and Try-out every piece of machinery involved in the servicing or maintenance job.
The isolation owner must then place all the keys used in locking out all the machinery into the Group Lockbox.
The isolation owner must then close the lockbox and lock their personal padlock onto the box.
All other employees involved in performing the service will inspect the lockout and then lock their personal padlock onto the lockbox. If the employee leaves; they may take their padlock off, however, it is important to note that the isolation owner never takes their padlock off until everyone else has left the isolation procedure.
Any other employees who join the lockout will lock their padlock before performing the service.
The Group Lockbox Method: The steps to reenergizing the machinery
When the work has been completed, and all employees have left the machinery, taking their personal padlocks off the lockbox, the isolation owner can then(And only then!) take their personal padlock off the lockbox and open the lockbox up.
All the keys can be taken out the lockbox.
The isolation owner can then take all the locks off the isolation points, and the machinery is ready for reenergizing.
The Group Lockbox Method Top Tips from Experts…
Store all equipment needed in a portable lockbox – To make isolations as simple as possible for the isolation owner, all the equipment needed for the isolation can be stored in a portable lockbox, such as the RGL12. The RGL12’s latch has been reinforced for this purpose.
Used Keyed Alike padlocks for the isolation points – Using keyed alike padlocks for the machine isolation means that when it comes to taking the padlocks off, the isolation owner doesn’t have to carry multiple different keys.
Still use Hasps – Seems a strange suggestion, but hasps can be used to extend the maximum users of a lockbox, for contractor teams joining the lockout procedure, or even if isolation ownership needs to change.
Alec Graham manages Reece’s US division; Reece Safety International Inc, from his new home in Dallas, Texas, having relocated to the States in October 2023. He has a First-Class Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management. Alec joined Reece after graduating from University in August 2022 although, as son of the Managing Director, he will tell you that he feels like he has worked at Reece since he was 15!
Alec is a keen rugby player and also enjoys windsurfing during the summer. Whenever he is back in the UK he plays rugby for his home club, Back-2-Back Aire Wharfe Cup champions, Ilkley Rugby Club.