Locking out power sources and drives is one of the most important safety procedures in a paper mill. Due to the enormous size of mill equipment, if the power source is not locked out, components can be started while personnel are out of the sight of the operator. The results can be catastrophic: machine damage, severe injury and even death.
Most mills have their own lock out and safety procedures posted throughout the mill. However, safety procedures, no matter how well intended, are not always followed.
Hopefully, mill personnel needn't wait for a lost-time accident to occur before practicing strict lock out procedures. Complete safety instructions and periodic refresher courses will help operating personnel understand the importance of these procedures.
Follow all lockout procedures established by the mill. Refer to the appropriate standards.
For maintenance work, disconnect all devices from electric power sources. Bring all hydraulic, pneumatic, gravity, or spring loaded devices to a zero-energy state. Follow lockout procedures.
The lockout program, locks, tags and the blocking/restraining devices provided are designed for your protection. Your responsibility is to follow the program and use the proper equipment.
Work to eliminate injury and death. Follow proper procedures at all times!
Following lockout procedures is not only a good idea, it's the law. For the United States, the relevant statute is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under Section 1910.261(b)(1), which states:
For Canada, the Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) CSA Z460-13 is the relevant guiding statute.
Lock out procedures on all controls are extremely important when a worker must enter a tank, chest, barking drum, dryer cylinder or other potentially hazardous area.
Although varied, each mill's set of lock out procedures should comply with state/province and OSHA/OH&S regulations.
The following recommended procedures can help prevent personal injury and/or machine damage:
On major shutdowns, such as clothing exchange, i.e., wires, felts, or dry felts, it is recommended that a senior shift supervisor lock out the equipment involved.
If unsure of any procedure, check the operation manuals
Follow all lockout and safety procedures before entering the
Be constantly aware of the location of each worker on the
Observe all safety instructions.
Do not remove or disable any installed safety device, sign or
Do not compromise safety due to time pressures!
Lock out procedures and mill safety rules are not optional – employees must always follow them. If an employee is not familiar with these procedures and finds himself or herself in a position where equipment must be locked out, they must ask their supervisor for the correct procedures – more than a job depends on it.
For more information in improving safety at your mill, including equipment safety upgrades and training, contact your Valmet representative.