Many folks associate September 11 with the year 2001 and the horrific attacks to the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  That is appropriate and respectful.

This should be a common sight in your shop.
This should be a common sight in your shop.

But professionally, I associate September 11 with 1990, the year that the US Dept. of Labor issued their OSHA instruction STD 1-7.3  Subject: 29 CFR 1910.147 the control of hazardous energy (Lockout/Tagout) – Inspection Procedures and Interpretive Guidance.  
Here are 7 questions you should answer to make sure you’re in compliance: 

  1. Do you have a written hazardous energy control program in your shop? When did you last revise it and review hazards?
  2. Do you have documented hazardous energy control procedures? Can you show me evidence of employee training?
  3. Does your program have a means of dealing with outside contractors?
  4. If an inspector asks an employee what is the procedure for removing another employee’s lock, what will they say?
  5. Does each employee have their own personal lock out device?
  6. Are the lockout points identified on every power driven machine in your shop
  7. Can you show me the actions that you took / follow up to your annual review and certification of your shop’s energy control program?

Lockout Tagout Hazardous Energy Control Violations continue to be a high violation in our industry by OSHA. This is 2009. So in the 19 years since 1990, you would think that our companies would have this lockout tagout stuff figured out by now, right?
Here’s a construction example of what can happen when there is a failure to properly lockout electrical energy.
Here is OSHA’s Booklet 3120 on Control of Hazardous Energy 
Photo courtesy of the Workplace Safety Store, who offers DVD VHS Lockout Training Refresher Program.