Lockout Tagout – How to Choose a Safety Padlock

Lockout Tagout suppliesSteel padlocks, Xenoy Padlocks, short padlocks, long padlocks, padlocks keyed alike, padlocks keyed different; the list is never ending! So how do you know which one to choose? Well first, you probably want to know the purpose of padlocks. A safety padlock is meant to provide a measure of safety beyond that offered by a tag alone. Used properly in conjunction with a well-planned lockout process, the safety padlock helps ensure that employees will not inadvertently energize a piece of equipment while someone else is working on it.

The first rule in choosing a padlock for lockout is to ensure the lock looks different than those used in the facility for locking toolboxes, gates, etc. This often is done by the use of bright colors. The most popular lockout padlocks have a “Danger” label incorporated on them, which includes employee name, photo or both.

The second rule revolves around the mantra – “one employee, one key”. This means all employees carry a unique key and no one else’s key can open the other employee’s safety padlocks. A single employee may carry any number of padlocks, all keyed to that same key for convenience (called KA – Keyed Alike), but no one else should have a key that can open other employees’ padlocks. This means that you should choose a padlock that offers enough unique key numbers to serve all your current employees, with room for future growth. Your facility’s padlocks can be keyed charted to ensure no duplicate key numbers are supplied and accidentally handed out to multiple employees.

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