Without management of the safety padlocks by a qualified personnel, the risks of accident are multiplied in a significant way. Also, the purchase of safety padlocks should not be left to a buyer looking for the best bargains.
Here is a case to illustrate:
In a large factory of Canada, purchasing was done with a local locksmith who offered his padlocks cheaply. Everything was going well until one day, workers discovered that the key to an equipment lock could also unlock another one on the same board. Intrigued, they repeated the same exercise with other padlocks on the same board and managed to find a second key that could unlock the padlock of another equipment in the same sector. The sector in question is at high risk because the workers handled 25Kv and 50Kv.
This was a serious situation.
When the preventionist contacted the locksmith, he told him that the manufacturer kept a registry file of all the padlocks supplied to the factory and that it was the culprit.
It was then that we intervened.
After verification, there was no registry in the name of the company with the manufacturer. Finally, the padlocks were gradually but quickly replaced by padlocks with restricted locks.
The situation was restored without any injuries. And the factory prevention officer is now happy to have an up-to-date registry of all his padlocks.
In another large factory in Canada, the preventionist did a good job in keeping a computerized key registry, but the supplier (a local locksmith) had not been transparent. He had not warned the preventionist that he was providing two sets of padlocks, one with a direct key code and another with a secret key code. But what the preventionist and the supplier did not know was that the key codes were redundant even if the registrations were different.
After approaching us for expertise and after carefully examining their records, we discovered that more than 300 workers’ personal locks could unlock another personnal padlock in the factory. Fortunately, there have never been any incidents, but the potential was there.
We have had the conflicting padlocks removed and introduced padlocks with restricted locks.
Now, worker safety has been restored thanks to our intervention.
Some preventionists are attracted to the idea of having a master key in their procedure because they believe that it will prevent them from having to cut the padlocks when they forget or lose a key. However, they are unaware that there is a real danger associated with it.
In fact, for each master key padlock, by mathematical decomposition, more than 30 other keys can unlock it. If we multiply this possibility by the number of padlocks in the factory, we easily understand the risk factor!
The danger increases when a subcontractor arrives with his own padlock because his key, which was not generated by the lockout system in place at the factory, risks unlocking other padlocks in the area where he works.
Rather, we suggest cutting the padlock shackle as they are easily replacable at a lower cost and this greatly reduces the risk of accidents.