A Safety Message About Lock Out / Tag Out And Accident Prevention

Lock Out Accidents

If someone were to ask you where the expression “lock, stock and barrel” came from, would you have guessed Leonardo Da Vinci? Here’s the story.

Engineers who studied Leonardo’s notebooks believe he designed a device called the wheel lock in about 1493. Used in firearms, the wheel lock linked an iron pyrite stone with wheels, springs and chains to generate the spark needed to fire a gun.  With Leonardo’s invention, small firearms like muskets that could be carried and fired by one person.  It was an incredible advance in technology.

Now that you know about the wheel lock, you’ve probably already realized that the expression “lock, stock and barrel” comes from the names for the three main components of a gun or rifle.

Leonardo’s wheel lock also influenced the design of the common door lock.  And today, locks of all kinds play a huge role in our everyday lives. At work, they protect us from accidental explosions, fires and accidental equipment startups during repair or maintenance.  Lock out/tag out is now standard practice in every manufacturing facility.

A system that is not locked out is as dangerous as the accidental explosions that often resulted in Leonardo’s time when a spark inadvertently came into contact with gunpowder.  It doesn’t take a genius to see that danger is involved if equipment is energized accidentally because someone forgot to lock it out and tag the power source.

Lock out/tag out is vital to everyone’s safety on the job, and the entire procedure must be done completely-lock, stock and barrel.  This means you must lock out, tag out and try out every system each and every time a machine is shut down for repair and maintenance.

Lock out/tag out protects not only the person doing the work on the equipment but also everyone else in the area.  So before you start work on an engine, motor, lathe, saw or any power-driven equipment, take all the steps required to neutralize the energy sources.  Also clearly print the complete information on the tag so others know when, where and why the equipment was locked out. If you lock out and tag out all switch boxes, valves and controls, you’ll never have to explain an accident that happened to a fellow worker.

Always remember to lock out/tag out.  Don’t take a chance that could leave an ordinary repair job more dangerous than a loaded gun.

Lock Out, Tag Out

Get a Lock On Safety!

*Copyright 2006 Harkins Safety B217

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