OSHA guidelines do not mandate any standard colour codes for Lockout Tagout processes. It is the company’s prerogative to identify and use suitable colour codes that best match the requirements. Depending on the scale of operations, the different departments, machines, and technicians and supervisors entrusted with Lockout Tagout and maintenance/repair responsibilities and the types of keyed Lockout Tagout units such as safety padlocks, group lockout boxes, lockout and padlock stations, companies opt for colour-coded key cabinets to not only store keys safely but also facilitate easy location and use the right key to release the locks. First-time users and those looking in need of extra cabinets are welcome to take a look at the key cabinets at www.lockoutsafety.com.
Coloured safety padlocks are most widely in use across production facilities (both large and small) to indicate the seriousness or severity of the danger associated with maintenance tasks being carried out on a specific machine. Common practice is to use bright coloured (red) locks for high-risk operations, as most people recognise and aptly respond to this colour.
The colours on safety padlocks and their keys are a perfect match; and these paired units are usually stored in padlock cabinets, when not in use. However, once the locks have been applied, the corresponding key – though a single one for each set of locks – is usually stored safely in the colour-coded key cabinet, so that it is not misplaced or misused.
Locks Keyed Alike – These are usually handed out to individual technicians who service multiple equipment, components or energy sources. Lodging the key in the cabinet once the machine is locked for maintenance enables technicians to ensure the area is secured for repairs.
Locks Keyed Different – Each lock in this system has a unique key. Colour-coded keys when stored in the right place within the colour-coded key cabinets make it easy to match them to the coloured padlocks currently in use.
Master Keyed Locks – Custom colour-coded key cabinets with secure access is ideal for supervisory staff to store master keys corresponding to a set of locks. In addition, these custom cabinets also prove ideal to safeguard keys of padlock stations and group lockout kits to ensure lockout devices are deployed and removed in a strictly controlled manner.
Off-the-shelf or tailor-made colour-coded key cabinets are safe, simple and easy to use. They offer an organised and secure system for storing keys once the locks have been deployed, minimising the possibility of accidental energisation of equipment during lockouts.
If you are interested in finding out more about our colour coded key cabinets please do not hesitate to contact Cathal at [email protected] or 057 866 2162.