A lockout device is a mechanism or arrangement that allows the use of key or combination locks (most commonly padlocks) to hold a switch lever or valve handle in the OFF position. Some switches and valves have lockout devices built in; others must be changed before locks can be used. As a Utilitiesman, you may use lockout devices when working on potentially hazardous equipment, such as high-pressure steam lines, electrically operated equipment, and boilers. The use of a lockout device is a great advantage since the machine or equipment cannot be started up, energized, or activated while you are working on it. The photographs in figure 2-22 will give you an idea of how devices may be used in locking out valves.
It is often an advantage for a lockout device to accommodate more than one padlock. In this way, when you are working on a machine or an item-of equipment with the valve locked off, another person can come along and use the padlock to do other hazardous work on the machine or equipment at the same time, rather than wait until you are finished.
Since most controls are not designed to accommodate more than one padlock at a time, multiple lock adapters, called lockout clamps or tongs, may be used (fig. 2-23). These adapters should be permanently chained to the control, or, alternately, issued to all people with padlocks.
Figure 2-22. - Locking out valves.Continue Reading