What is Lockout Tagout?

lockout tagout procedures1Basically Lockout Tagout is a physical method of preventing equipment from being re-energised when it is unsafe to do so.

Every year a large number of workers are injured in industrial accidents resulting from the unexpected start-up of workplace equipment and machinery. By ensuring that Lockout Tagout procedures are followed the risk can be prevented and injuries minimised.

Lockout is a physical method of keeping equipment from being re-energised, stop any unexpected movement, prevent the release of stored energy including the flow of gases and fluids. For example, to isolate an electrical circuit turn the appropriate breaker to the off position and place a lockout device in place to keep in this position. A padlock is then put in place on the lockout device to ensure it can only be removed by the person who locked it off.

Tagout is a highly visible warning placed on the equipment which has been isolated.  The tag should be of sufficient durability for the conditions, attached securely and proved details of the person who applied it. A tagout system should never be used without an appropriate lockout procedure as it does not provide the same measure of protection.

Lockout Tagout procedure should be followed during repair or maintenance of equipment where a worker could be injured by the unexpected start up of machinery. Depending on the type of machinery and energy source depends on which lockout device is used, energy can take many forms, which may include:

Electrical energy – commonly found powering nearly all workplace equipment.

Hydraulic energy – commonly found powering forklifts, cutting equipment and pumps.

Mechanical energy – commonly found in all machinery with moving parts.

Thermal energy – commonly found in equipment such as ovens or freezers (hot & cold).

Pneumatic energy – commonly found powering machinery via compressed air or gas.

Potential – commonly found in compressed springs or suspended weights.

Only trained and authorised employees are allowed to perform repairs, servicing and maintenance on equipment, and therefore training of all affected personnel must be arranged. This includes authorised employees who will be performing maintenance on the equipment as they need to recognise hazardous energy sources and the means necessary for isolation and control.

All other employees, contractors and visitors need to be made aware of the Lockout Tagout procedure with specific emphasis on the prohibition relating to attempts to restart or re-energise equipment which has been locked out.

Tags are an effective way of communicating the status of equipment which is undergoing maintenance.  Appropriate tags should be provided by the employer and be fit for purpose, they need to be:

  • Durable and hardwearing
  • Resistant to moisture, oils and other contaminants.
  • Easy to read and understand
  • Identify the person who installed it
  • Be attached using a method which is secure and that cannot be easily released. They should also be able to be attached by hand and should not be re-used.

Tags should always be used in conjunction with an appropriate lockout device. In some instances where it is not possible to attached a lockout device then tags may be used if there is no other physical alternative of isolation.

Further information can be found in current UK legislation. This has been put in place to prevent such accident occurring by controlling unauthorised or accidental use of energy.  The Provision and Use of Work Equipment 1998, Section 19 Energy and Electrical at Work Regulations 1989, Regulation 13 both specifically cover these aspects.

In addition The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 both state that an employer should ‘make suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of his employees’ and ensure their ‘health, safety and welfare at work’.

Also the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 also states that it is also the responsibility of the employee to ensure the ‘health and safety of himself and of other persons who may be affected by his acts or omission of work.

Ensure your workplace environment and employees are safe and risks are minimised by following strict Lockout Tagout procedures.  If you need help and guidance please call 01353 665141, our Lockout Tagout specialist will be happy to advise.

Specialist Adhesive Tape Used In Heating Systems

Heating Coil

With the development of advanced adhesive and in particular adhesive tapes many manufacturing processes are moving away from mechanical fixings and adopting new methods of assembly.

As a supplier of specialist adhesive tapes we were approached by a heating and cooling manufacturer to provide a tape that could be used in their manufacturing process. The adhesive tape was to be used in a heat transfer process, bonding an aluminium heating manifold to an alluminium plate where the heat would be radiated into the room. It would need the following properties, faster assembly time compared to traditional mechanical fixings, the ability to conduct temperatures up to 80°C without degrading the adhesive properties and it also had to be a specific non-standard width.

A couple of tapes were selected based on the requirements and a testing process was under taken by the manufacturer. The final tape was then selected based on its performance capability (which exceeded the client’s requirements) and a price point that came in below budget, and it has also increased the speed of manufacture too.

The use of the tape has been a huge success and production has increased to its current rate of 10km of tape a month and it is being considered for other elements of the manufacturing process. The tape has provided an enhanced appearance to the product allowing the visible surface of the heating element to be completely smooth, something that was not possible with rivets. Stress distribution and the thermal expansion and contraction is now even across the entire bonded surface rather than being focus at the point of the individual fixing points. The tape is actually faster to apply than mechanical fixing, a 3 stage process has now become a single stage process, reducing production time and therefore cost.

The adhesive tape used in this case study can be found on our Trade Shop Direct website, it is a Double Sided Polyester Tape.

If you have a specific adhesive tape requirement please give us a call and we will be happy to help, 01353 665141.

Heating Panel using Adhesive Tape

Heating Panel Fully Assembled

How to make outdoor steps safe in wet weather.

safe steps

Did you know falling on slippery steps is the number one cause of accidents and injuries around the home; whilst we know salt is good in the snow and you can add grit to your steps in the winter it can be a messy old business.

To make your stairs and steps safer it’s a good idea to fix abrasive strips to each level. First you will need to make sure the surface is clean and dry, then simply attach a self-adhesive strip near the front of each step.

Our safety tread tape has a finely ground aggregate bonded to the surface to enhance the non slip properties and is available to buy by the roll, which is perfect for ensuring all of your outdoor surfaces are safe.

The textured tape is available in black, yellow & black chevrons and transparent (clear); it can be used inside and outdoors.  Our anti-slip tape is suitable for pretty much any edge that needs to either be clearly visible or anti-slip including ladders, boats and decking areas. The exceptional high bonding properties of the tape makes it suitable for sticking to wood, metal, concrete and tiles.

Ensure your home and workplace is safe this winter and call us on 01353 665141 to place your order or ask for further advice.

Adhesive Tape Application Tips

In order to get the best results form your adhesive tape you need to ensure that you apply it correctly, always follow any manufacturer instructions (if supplied).

Surface Preparation

All surfaces should have no flaky or loose areas and should be completely free from oil, grease, moisture, dust and release agents. Ideally surfaces should be cleaned with a solvent such as Pronatur Orange Solvent. Porous surfaces may need to be sealed prior to application. All surfaces should be dry before application.

Application Temperature

Polly-Tunnel Repair Tape

Polly-Tunnel Repair Tape

When applying adhesive tapes, unless it’s an all-weather adhesive, the substrate (items you are sticking together) temperature should not be less than 15°C. Using adhesive tape in temperatures lower than 15°C can result in hardening of the adhesive and prevent the ultimate bonding strength being reached. Ideal application temperature is between 20 to 40°C. Note that an adhesive tape with the ability to withstand temperatures lower than 15°C does not mean it can be applied in those temperatures.

There are some adhesive tapes that have been designed to be applied in lower temperatures such as our Polly Tunnel Repair Tape.

Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (PSA)

Unless specified, all adhesive tapes use PSA, basically they rely on you applying pressure to them in order to activate the adhesive. Firm pressure and 100% surface contact is key to achieving maximum bond strength. Pressure should be applied evenly and where possible with a roller to ensure there are no air bubbles, important on wide tape.

PSA tapes may take up to a couple of days to reach ultimate adhesion, although this can usually be accelerated by exposing the tape to elevated temperatures for a short period of time.

First Aid Station with Eye Wash and First Aid Kit

It can be difficult to ensure that you provide all the necessary First Aid equipment within a business environment, this is why Trade Shop Direct has launched its First Aid Station.

The First Aid Station consists of a wall mountable information board with First Aid advice, Accident book holder and accident book, eye and wound wash bottles, first aider information and a Workplace first aid kit.

First Aid Station

There are 3 options of first aid kit, a standard (green) kit, a catering (blue) kit with blue bandages and plasters. There is also a burn care first aid kit (red box) which contains burn related first aid equipment.

This First Aid station ensures that the necessary workplace regulations are met, including the Data Protection Act with regards to the Accident Book and personal data storage.

Click here to view our range of first aid kits.

1 2