Introducing the Article
The article “LOTO Made Simple” by Burns and Foust (2015) is devoted to the issues connected with promoting the necessity of lockout/tag-out (LOTO) requirements fulfillment among workers.
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Summary and Analysis of the Key Points
Pointing out the importance of LOTO procedures, Burns and Foust (2015) highlight that the main hazard connected to these programs is the failure of fulfilling their standards. The authors proceed to suggest a way of eliminating this danger. This presupposes building and maintaining a proper security culture among workers. In order to achieve a better understanding of the processes regulated with the help of LOTO, the authors insist on spreading accurate information among workers with the focus on eliminating their biases. When culture is created, it needs to be maintained. Burns and Foust (2015) point out that workers are most often trained the basics of LOTO that tend to become more complicated with time, which results in confusion and, therefore, requires retraining.
The authors especially highlight the inefficiency of “overly complicated” LOTO procedures, providing the example of a program that presupposed the usage of five differently-colored locks and tags for one site. The workers did not find this program effective and did not understand why it was necessary to have five different colors. According to Burns and Foust (2015), the problem of excessive complexity may result in confusion, misinformation, misunderstandings, and human error, which in the end may lead to hazardous situations. The authors advocate the use of simple LOTO procedures with individual worker locks and tags. Apart from that, they point out the mistake of insufficient training and misinforming workers.
Emphasizing the importance of relative simplicity of the LOTO procedures, the authors also insist on the significance of scenario planning and workers training. They believe that such a plan should improve the rates of fulfilling the requirements of LOTO procedures.
The Article and the Concepts as Presented in the Textbook
In the book “The Basics of Occupational Safety” by Goetsch (2014), the lockout/tag-out procedures are characterized as a “critical” type of safeguard (p. 246). This correlates with the description provided by Burns and Foust (2015), who believe that LOTO is “one the most important and fundamental safety policies” (p. 39). According to Goetsch (2014), the violations of LOTO instructions occur more frequently than they should (p. 245). The suggestion for evaluation of a company’s LOTO procedures in many ways correlates with the ideas presented in the article. For example, Goetsch (2014) also mentions the training of the workers and providing them with accurate information as essential aspects of LOTO procedures (p. 246). In general, it appears that both the article and the textbook present the concept of LOTO in a similar way. The main difference is in the limits of the topic coverage: while Goetsch (2014) provides a more general and extensive overwrite of LOTO, the article addresses specific issues that are of interest to the authors.
The Article’s Conclusions and Personal Opinions
Burns and Foust (2015) believe that the relative simplicity of LOTO procedures makes them safer for a number of reasons, including the smaller chance of error and misunderstanding. They present what appears to be a very sound plan for building and maintaining the safety culture among workers. I completely agree with the idea that unnecessary complication of LOTO procedures will inevitably reduce their efficiency. It is obvious that ensuring the fulfillment of LOTO standards is of crucial importance, and I agree that providing proper information and training seem to be vital for this mission.
Burns, W., & Foust, G. (2015). LOTO Made Simple. Plant Engeneering, 39-44.
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Goetsch, D. (2014). The Basics of Occupational Safety (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.