Lock Out Tag Out

A Message About Electrical Safety, Lock Out Tag Out, Choose The Right Tool

A Shocking Undersea Tale B-168

Did you know that the South American electric eel can grow to five feet long, weigh as much as 40 pounds and produce an electrical discharge that can stun a diver?

It’s a fact! The South American eel is not really an eel at all but a true fish that is related to the carp.  It has three electric organs: a small one at the tip of its tail used for navigation and another small one used as a trigger for the third blockbuster organ that produces the lightning-like discharge that kills its prey.

This strange creature, one of more than 200 species of fish, uses electricity by generating and discharging currents either in bursts or steady electric fields around its body. Depending on the species, they may use this energy to find and attack their prey, for defense or for communication and navigation.

These skates, rays, eels and other unusual denizens of the deep live and die by the effectiveness of their in-house batteries.  Scientists have discovered that sharks, porpoises and some other species have extremely sensitive electric receptors that help them detect and avoid their high- powered salt-water neighbors.

Just like the receptors that protect sharks against the South American eel, we have our own systems in place to keep electricity where it belongs.

*Always lock out and tag out. We have lock out systems that are virtually foolproof when everyone follows the proper procedure. Disregarding these systems can lead to injuries and fatalities.

*Look before you reach.  You might not see energized parts, so don’t reach into machinery.  Make sure there is adequate lightning and scan the area carefully before you put your hands there.

*Use protective shields, barriers and insulating materials.  These safety precautions can help prevent accidental contact that could result in tragedy.

*Check power tools. Don’t use power tools with broken plugs or defective insulation and always make sure tools are properly grounded before you use them.

*Watch out for water. Never use electrical equipment or tools in a wet environment without the proper protection or an insulating mat.

Electricity can strike in a flash! Beware!

You risk shock, burns, explosions and fire.

*Copyright 2003 Harkins Safety (B168)



A Message About Housekeeping Safety And Family Values

Your Family Tree

If you’ve ever wondered what country your ancestors came from, what your family name means or who makes up your family tree, then you have an interest in genealogy. It’s a fascinating world filled with stories and characters, and it’s all about you! Here are a few tips to get started.

To uncover your family history, you can start by looking through your attic and basement to gather everything you can find-papers, photos, documents, family heirlooms and so on. This alone will reveal a great deal.

You can also interview your relatives, asking questions about their childhood, their jobs and their activities. A good approach is to ask a few general questions and just let the person talk. Your interest will flatter them and chances are you’ll hear spellbinding stories of eccentric characters, upstanding citizens and maybe even a few scoundrels. It’s all part of the fun because this is your story, the history of your family, a history that you and your own family are living right now.

Another way to trace your family history is to take one surname, or last name and focus your research on it. You can do searches on the Internet. You can visit the Family History Center in your city. You can find wills, birth, death and marriage records, land deeds, immigration records and all kinds of documents in local government offices, courthouses and libraries.

Once you’ve collected plenty of information, you can start building your family tree. A good way to do this is to begin listing your ancestors on a family tree chart, which you can get on the Internet or perhaps at your local library.

It’s all of value, just like your safety on the job.

As you learn more about your family history, you’ll realize the importance of your role. No one but you can play your part in the ongoing story of your family, so make it a long and happy one by always staying alert and safe on the job. Safety is a family value. Don’t work carelessly or take risks, instead think of your family and always…

*Follow all safety rules to the letter. They are there for your protection.

*Keep your work area clean. Slips, trips and falls can cause devastating injuries.

*Take responsibility to prevent fires. They injure and kill workers each year.

*Lock out and tag out. Unchecked electricity can be deadly.

These are just some smart safety strategies you can put into action today. There are many more. Why not take the time to learn them and use them? Remember, you’re doing it for you and your family. Safety is not only a company value and a personal value…


*Copyright 2006 Harkins Safety  B215




A Message About Machine Guards, Lock Out – Tag Out and PPE

Pack A Punch

Muhammed Ali, Joe Frazer, October 1, 1975.  The Philippine Coliseum. It was the greatest fight of all time.  It was the Thrilla in Manilla.

Ali had been taunting Frazer and calling him names.  Each had defeated the other once before, Frazer winning in 1971 and Ali in 1973.  They were angry. By 10:45 a.m., 28,000 spectators had filled the Coliseum and the battle was on.

Ali came out flat-footed, no dancing, confident of victory. He swung powerfully, and Frazer’s legs buckled three times in the first round.  By the third round, Frazer was twice badly shaken, his head snapping back from Ali’s long lefts.

But in the fourth, Frazer seemed to find his range.  He pummeled Ali.  Ali spent the fifth round in his own corner taking Frazer’s body shots.  By the sixth, Frazer was in close, pounding Ali’s body and unleashing his left hook on Ali’s head.  Two of them caught Ali’s jaw, staggering him.  Frazer beat on Ali for four more rounds.  At the end of the tenth, they were even.  Then in the eleventh, Frazer blasted Ali with blow after blow.  It looked like the end.

But Ali dug down.  He tagged Frazer with long right punches until blood trickled from Frazer’s mouth and bumps rose above his eyes. He sent Frazer’s mouthpiece flying in the thirteenth and nearly KO’ed him with a snapping right.  In the fourteenth, Ali delivered nine straight right punches to Frazer’s head.  When the bell sounded for the fifteenth Frazer didn’t answer.  His manager told him, “Sit down, son. It’s all over. No one will ever forget what you did here today.”

Ali had retained his title and won the toughest fight of his life.  “It was like death,” he said. “The closest thing to dying that I know of.”

Professional boxers know never to let their guard down.  On the job, you need to do the same; an unguarded moment can result in an injury.  That’s why, when you’re working with machines, you need to be extra cautious.  They pack a punch, here’s how to block it:

*Always use machine guards, and never reach over or around them.

*Never reach blindly into a machine-you could reach an energized part.

*Keep watches, belts, necklaces and other conductive items away from machinery.

*Always wear the right PPE.

*Perform frequent safety checks.

*Lock out/tag out for repairs or maintenance.

*Stay alert-a deadly punch can come out of nowhere.

Machines Can Pack a Punch

*Copyright 2004  Harkins Safety (B-180)



A Message About Electrical Safety – Lock Out Tag Out

Lock It Out

When electricity was in its infancy, a battle between inventors forever changed the way we use our most popular power source.  Here’s the story.

In 1882, all the electricity in the country was supplied by direct current, thanks to the inventiveness and industriousness of Thomas Edison.  Then in 1884 Edison hired the brilliant Croatian scientist, inventor and theoretician Nikola Tesla to sort out the problems with the DC system.  Tesla saved Edison $100,000, -over $1 million by today’s standards.  However, the scientists had a falling out.

Tesla left Edison’s company and went on to invent a better system, alternating current and eventually signed a contract with George Westinghouse.  AC offered several advantages.  For example, it could be stepped up and transmitted over long distances on thin wires, while DC required a large power plant every square mile and very thick cables.

Because Edison was heavily invested in direct current, he attempted to discredit Tesla. Edison staged “experiments” involving animal electrocution to try to show that Tesla’s system was dangerous.  Tesla retaliated with his own demonstrations to show that alternating current was controllable. He used his invention, the Tesla Coil, to generate huge lightning bolts to the amazement of his supporters.

In the end, AC won out, and Tesla was vindicated.  He also realized his dream of bringing affordable, abundant electric power to homes and businesss through- out the country.  Although they did not agree on the merits of AC versus DC, both Tesla and Edison knew that electricity is a powerful force to be used only with great caution and respect.  The same holds true today.

*When you follow lock-out and tag out each and every time machinery is shut down for repair or maintenance.

*Before starting work on an engine, motor, lathe, saw or any power driven equipment, take all of the steps required to neutralize the power sources.

*Place locks and warning tags on all switch boxes, valves and controls.

*Clearly print complete information on the tag so that others know when, where and why the equipment was locked out.

Short-Circuit An Accident…Always Lock Out and Tag Out

* Copyright 2002 Harkins Safety (B-155)



A Message About Electrical Safety

An Idea Strikes

Have you ever watched lightning during a storm and wondered about its power? If so, you’ve embarked on the same scientific exploration that propelled Ben Franklin more than 200 years ago.  Franklin was so enthralled with electricity that its study was his lifelong hobby.

In fact, it was Franklin who invented the lightning rod. In one of his experiments, he observed that a sharp iron needle would conduct electricity away from a charged metal sphere.  He further theorized that lightning might be drawn away from buildings by elevating an iron rod grounded to the earth and the lightning rod was born.

But Ben didn’t stop there.  He later had a theory that lightning was actually electricity.  In June of 1752, he grew impatient waiting for the steeple on top of Christ’s Church to be completed for his experiment.  The steeple would act as a lightning rod.  So he thought that a kite would be able to get as close to the storm clouds.  He tied a metal key to the kite string, and tied the string to an insulating silk ribbon for his hand.  When Franklin saw the lightning deliver its charge to the key, he knew immediately that it was a form of electricity.  And he knew its power.

Upon receiving an electrical shock during one experiment, he described it as a “   universal blow throughout my whole body from head to foot…and a violent quick shaking of my body…”

Ben took huge risks in his experiments and fortunately never received a fatal shock.  But we know that electricity is a powerful force that can injure and kill.  We have to treat it with the utmost respect.  Always check electrical equipment and power cords for damage.  Make sure electrical equipment and machinery are properly grounded.  Always lock out and tag out, it you’re the worker authorized to do so.  Check to ensure that equipment is powered down before you begin maintenance and repairs.

Franklin was obsessed with the idea of electricity.  In 1749, he described the concept of a battery in a letter to a friend, but doubted if it would ever be of use. Like Franklin, we should think about electricity too.  Not by conducting experiments but by staying aware of how to safely work with electricity. Electricity is so common that we can become too comfortable around it. That’s a mistake.  Stay alert to the very real dangers of electricity.  It’s one of our greatest allies but also one of our greatest threats.

Beware if Electricity’s There!

*Copyright 2008 Harkins Safety  B-233



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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