LOTO : The Supervisor’s Role
A supervisor is a person who works for a business and is trusted by the employer to oversee certain activities within the business as well as to enforce compliance upon specific issues. Supervisors are an essential component to any business in that they usually there to help and provide guidance to the employees who report to them. The same goes during a LOTO procedure. During lockout/tagout, a supervisor has a key role in both the accuracy and enforcement of the LOTO program. Often times when a business is cited for non-compliance by OSHA for a violation, the supervisor is one of the main people involved in fixing the issue due to their leadership role.
The job responsibilities of a supervisor are critical when it comes to the enforcement of LOTO procedures. Here we will outline some of the main responsibilities of the supervisor in regards to lockout/tagout.
- FREE Lockout Tagout Guide!Create Equipment Specific LOTO Procedures: This is a big component of LOTO safety. The lockout/tagout plan created by the supervisor must follow all OSHA specific guidelines and still be completely specific to the types of equipment overseen. All components of the hazardous equipment should be identified and considered in the creation of lockout/tagout procedures.
- Ensure Employee Training: A supervisor must make certain that all affected employees (employees who work with the equipment, but do not service the equipment) understand the purpose and are up to date on all LOTO safety guidelines and procedures. There are usually special training classes or demonstrations provided to make sure all employees understand appropriate LOTO procedures. If an affected employee is not trained on the LOTO procedures, the supervisor is going to be the first person in question as to why the safety training has not taken place.
- Maintain a List of Authorized Employees: There are only a certain amount of employees who elicit the special training required to be considered an authorized employee. Authorized employees are the people who have gone through extensive safety training to understand how to service hazardous equipment, and to understand the specific hazards involved during the repair and maintenance processes.
- Issue LOTO Devices: Each affected employee should be issued a standardized lock to be used on equipment during situations involving LOTO. It is the supervisor’s job to issue the locks and to make sure that each affected employee receives a lock. Locks should be standardized in color, shape, and size so they are quickly recognizable during times of lockout/tagout.
- Provide LOTO Guidelines Upon Request: If any employee requests a copy of the current LOTO procedures in place, it is the job of the supervisor to provide that material. Each affected employee has the right to know and understand the LOTO procedures in place and how they will provide protection to themselves and to other employees as well.
Being a supervisor carries some fairly large job responsibilities especially when it comes to the safety procedures involved in a LOTO program. However, the benefits and peace of mind of an effectively run LOTO program can help reaffirm everyone’s safety when working with hazardous equipment
Make sure to check out yesterdays post if you missed it – Lockout Vs. Tagout – What’s the Difference?
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- Lockout Vs. Tagout – What’s the Difference?
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- 8 Steps to Ensure Proper Lockout Tagout
- The Importance of Lockout Tagout
- The Recipe for Complete Lockout Tagout
- OSHA Safety Plan
- Protect Your Business and the Safety of Your Employees by Understanding What OSHA’s Top 10 Safety Violations Were for FY 2012