Solution Summary: Lockout Tagout Automation Software with Real-time Monitoring
A Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) automation software with real-time monitoring is a solution designed to streamline and enhance the safety procedures related to equipment maintenance or repairs. This software automates the entire LOTO process, including equipment shutdown, LOTO implementation, and equipment restoration, while providing real-time monitoring capabilities. Through a user application interface on a mobile device, it enables the management of LOTO procedures, ensuring compliance with safety regulations and minimizing the risk of accidents. The real-time monitoring feature displays status of LOTO activities, providing updates on progress, identifying potential issues, and enabling timely interventions. By centralizing and automating these critical safety processes, the software enhances productivity, reduces downtime, and promotes a safer work environment.
Lockout Tagout (LOTO) is a safety measure that prevents electrocutions and other serious injuries by ensuring that equipment is properly de-energized before maintenance, construction, or other non-routine operations take place. This is achieved through the use of locks or tags, which are placed on the power source to prevent other employees from energizing the equipment while work is being performed. LOTO procedures are essential to prevent unexpected start-ups or energizing of equipment, especially during maintenance or servicing activities when workers may come in close contact with the machines. Workers should never engage in these activities unless proper LOTO procedures have been followed to ensure their safety. For more general information, please visit the solution summary Lockout Tagout.
The context of this solution draft pertains to the automation aspect of using cloud-based software designed to help companies write and manage visual lockout procedures, which can be accessible in real-time by mobile applications (figure 1).
Figure 1. A screenshot of a user interface displaying a LOTO diagram in real-time (Photo courtesy of autoLOTO)
The software works by automating the LOTO process in these following general steps:
- The software creates a digital database of all the machinery and equipment in the workplace that requires LOTO procedures.
- Each machine or equipment is identified with a unique identifier.
- The software provides a step-by-step guide on how to safely isolate energy sources, such as electricity, hydraulic, or pneumatic systems.
- Once the energy sources have been isolated, the software generates a digital LOTO procedure, which includes specific instructions and a unique LOTO identifier for that particular machinery or equipment.
- Employees performing maintenance or repair work on the machinery or equipment are required to follow the LOTO procedure and use the designated lock and tag to indicate that the machine or equipment is isolated and safe to work on.
- The software also provides real-time monitoring of LOTO procedures to ensure compliance and safety.
In summary, the LOTO automation software can help companies prevent workplace accidents by providing a digital database of machinery and equipment that requires LOTO procedures and guiding employees through a safe and standardized process for isolating energy sources. Below are a few examples of companies that offer LOTO automation software. While it is not a comprehensive list of what is available, it is best to evaluate different options to find the solution that is suitable to an organization's needs. Please visit the manufacturer's websites to the right of this solution draft for additional information and technical specifications.
autoLOTO Lockout/Tagout Mobile Automation Software
AutoLOTO Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) Mobile Automation Software is a software solution designed to simplify and streamline the LOTO process in industrial settings. The software provides a mobile app (figure 2) that allows workers to perform LOTO procedures using their smartphones or tablets. The app guides workers through the LOTO process, helping them to identify the equipment that needs to be locked out or tagged out, generate and print custom LOTO procedures, and manage LOTO workflows. AutoLOTO also integrates with other industrial systems, such as SCADA and ERP, to automate the LOTO process and ensure that equipment is properly shut down before maintenance or repairs are performed. Overall, AutoLOTO Lockout/Tagout Mobile Automation Software helps to improve worker safety, increase productivity, and reduce the risk of accidents and injuries in industrial settings.
Figure 2. A screenshot of the autoLOTO mobile application displaying lockout details (Photo courtesy of autoLOTO)
Link360 is a cloud-based software platform developed by the Brady Corporation that helps organizations manage their safety and compliance programs. The platform allows users to create (figure3), store, and access important safety and compliance information, such as LOTO procedures as well as confined space entry permits, and safety data sheets. Link360 provides customizable workflows, automated reminders, and document control capabilities to streamline the management of safety and compliance programs. The platform also includes analytics and reporting tools to help users identify trends and areas for improvement in their safety and compliance programs. Overall, Link360 is designed to help organizations improve safety, reduce risk, and maintain compliance with regulatory standards.
Figure 3. A screenshot of the Brady LINK360 user application generating standardized energy isolation point labels that are consistent with equipment-specific procedures (Photo courtesy of Brady Worldwide, Inc.)
Master Lock eLOTO
eLOTO by Master Lock is a cloud-based software platform that simplifies the LOTO process for industrial organizations. The platform provides a centralized location for managing LOTO procedures, allowing users to create, share, and track LOTO procedures electronically. eLOTO also offers customizable workflows and automated notifications to streamline the LOTO process and improve communication among workers. The platform integrates with mobile devices and smart locks to enable workers to perform LOTO procedures in the field and track progress in real-time. eLOTO also includes analytics and reporting tools to help organizations identify trends and improve their LOTO programs. Overall, eLOTO by Master Lock helps to improve safety, increase efficiency, and reduce the risk of accidents and injuries associated with the LOTO process.
Electrocution or serious injury can result if a worker is unexpectedly exposed to energized equipment.
How Risks are Reduced:
Locks and tags can reduce the risk of electrocution, crushing, dismemberment, or other serious injuries or death by preventing unexpected equipment energization or unexpected release of machinery's stored energy.
Safety and health experts believe there is a great reduction in the risk of electrocution when proper LOTO devices are used. LOTO devices effectively prevent accidental equipment or machinery start-up maintaining it in a de-energized state.
Effects on Productivity:
A LOTO automation software with real-time monitoring can enhance productivity by streamlining and expediting the LOTO process. This software enables efficient and standardized management of equipment shutdowns, ensuring employee safety during maintenance or repairs. With real-time monitoring capabilities, the software provides instant visibility into the status of LOTO procedures, allowing supervisors to track progress, identify bottlenecks, and allocate resources effectively.
It is important to provide training on properly accessing and using the user application interface on any LOTO automation software that is implemented for a jobsite.
Jean Christophe Le, MPH - CPWR The Center for Construction Research and Training
Jerry Rivera, CSP - NECA, Washington DC Chapter
Terry Sage, CHST - Freestate Electrical Construction