Know The Dangers of Powered Machinery

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Here are some key points.

  • Powered machinery can be dangerous even when it appears to be shut off.
  • Never remove special locks and tags from powered equipment unless you have been authorized to do so.
  • Never restart powered machinery that has been locked or tagged out.

Powered equipment can be dangerous

  • Each year, hundreds of people are seriously injured or killed by powered machinery. Many of these injuries and deaths are preventable.
  • If you work with powered machinery, you undoubtedly know how dangerous it can be. Yet often, even people who regularly work with machinery fail to think about what can happen if:
    • a piece of equipment is not completely shut off before it is cleaned, serviced or repaired
    • the machinery is turned on accidentally
    • the equipment isn’t isolated from all of its energy sources before servicing or repair begins
  • Even if you don’t operate powered machinery, you could get hurt if one of your co-workers failed to take the proper steps to shut down or lock out equipment.

We have certain safety procedures

  • Because we’re concerned about your safety, we have special procedures to reduce the risk of injury from machinery that is being adjusted, cleaned or repaired.
  • These procedures include isolating the equipment from its energy sources, then applying special locks and tags.
  • Only certain authorized employees who have received special training may apply or remove these locks and tags.
Warning: Never remove these locks or tags from equipment or try to restart equipment that has these locks and tags on it.

Our lockout/tagout procedures

Here are the procedures our authorized employees follow when locking and tagging out powered machinery.
  1. The authorized employee must notify you before the locks and tags are applied.
  2. The authorized employee must use the equipment’s normal operating controls to shut it down.
  3. The authorized employee must isolate the equipment from all of its energy sources.
  4. Each authorized employee in the work crew must apply his or her own individually assigned locks and tags to all energy controls.
  5. The authorized employee must make sure you and other workers are out of the area.
  6. The employee must then test the equipment to be sure it has been isolated from all of its energy sources before any adjustments, cleaning or repairs begin.
  7. Except in an emergency, only the employee who applied the lock and tag is authorized to remove it from the equipment. Immediately notify a supervisor if there is an emergency that requires another person to remove a lock or tag.

A few more safety tips

  • Know the dangers of powered machinery. This includes knowing that a piece of equipment that looks safe may not be completely turned off.
  • Stay away from powered equipment unless you are authorized to be near it.
  • Never ask a co-worker to borrow a lock or tag that is used for lockout/tagout purposes. These special devices are only to be used for that purpose.
  • Immediately notify your supervisor if a machine has frayed cords or doesn’t seem to be working properly. Don’t operate that machine.
  • Never remove machine guards or other safety devices from equipment.
  • Notify your supervisor if a machine guard or safety device is missing or damaged. Don’t operate that machine.
  • Don’t try to adjust, repair or clean powered equipment unless you have specifically been trained in these duties.

Powered Machinery Do’s and Don’ts


  • Know that powered equipment must be completely shut off and isolated from all of its energy sources before it can be adjusted, cleaned or repaired.
  • Become familiar with the special locks and tags we use for lockout/tagout purposes.
  • Get out of the area if an authorized employee tells you that he or she will be locking and tagging out powered equipment.
  • Ask a co-worker to borrow the specialized locks and tags we use on powered equipment.
  • Remove another worker’s lock or tag from a piece of powered machinery.
  • Try to restart equipment that has been locked out and tagged out.

When you’re ready to work safely, you’re ready to work. See our full line of safety supplies, including respirators, eye and ear protection, coveralls, first aid and more.

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