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The importance of a proper Lockout / Tagout program

forklift-operatorSafety is and should be the #1 priority for any recycling facility.  Lockout / Tagout is one way to ensure safety of all workers in recycling operations.

There are many moving parts within a recycling operation – and each one can and does present a potential hazard to employees.

Trucks, forklifts, loaders, balers, shredders, guillotines, and many other machines present dangers when not properly operated, repaired, and serviced.  Each employee is responsible for their safety and the safety of others when servicing, cleaning, repairing this type of equipment.

Lockout / Tagout is a requirement to prevent dangers presented when working on recycling processing equipment. It is vital that each employee be trained on this program, and that they all fully understand the implications and dangers if this program is not properly followed. Overlooking this can and has resulted in dismemberment and even death.

What is Lockout / Tagout?

Each employee should have access to a padlock and tag, and be trained in the proper technique to shut off and lock off any electrical power supply to the equipment they are working on.

There should only be one key to this lock, and the employee must keep the key at all times in his or her possession. Should an additional employee be involved in the same process – they should also lockout the power – using their own dedicated key and padlock.

This program is designed to prevent the accidental startup and operation of equipment when an employee may be in a danger zone or hazardous area. Relying on another employee to “watch out”, when in a dangerous area is not enough. Each employee must guarantee that the machinery or equipment they are working on or around is totally incapable of starting, running, and cycling.

Unfortunately there have been many workers in the recycling industry who  have not followed the Lockout / Tagout guidelines, or were not properly trained in Lockout / Tagout procedures.   These employees were not able to return to their families at the end of the day, and ended up in the hospital – or worse.

Lockout / Tagout at Miller Recycling

We take pride in our people and put safety first.  Miller Recycling trains employees on Lockout / Tagout procedures and enforces the use of this important program.


When selecting a recycling provider, be sure to ask about the company’s safety procedures including Lockout / Tagout practices.  Contact us if you would like further information or have any questions.