What is a Safety Lockout Padlock?

The first time you've got to buy safety lockout padlocks might be a little confusing. Aren't they like any other padlock you can find in a supply store?

In some ways, perhaps they resemble a lock you'd buy at the store, but there are essential differences between a safety lockout padlock and a standard padlock that you should know.

The Definition

Safety lockout padlocks are characterized by what they're used for, first and foremost. Where other locks are used to secure doors or lockers, safety lockout padlocks are specially designed to fit into machinery, electrical switches, and other spaces that aren't designed to accommodate a traditional lock. The reason for this is that they are used to lock a piece of machinery, an electrical breaker, or other equipment so that it can't be used while someone is servicing it.

Moreover, the locks themselves can be made out of a variety of durable materials. Since the lock's primary purpose isn't to secure against intruders, some locks can be made of materials that are less durable than metal but can still protect against carrying a charge, thereby reducing the risk of injury from handling the lock.

What You Need to Consider

When buying safety lockout padlocks, it's important to consider a few different things to make sure your locks best suit your needs.

One of the first things you should think about is whether you need key sets that are keyed similarly or ones that are keyed differently. Most safety lockout padlocks do not allow more than one key to open them. The reason for this feature is that a technician uses the padlock to make a work area safe to work in for themselves, and allowing more than one key to open the lock makes it possible for someone to mistakenly remove it, putting the technician at risk of injury.

However, in situations where you have a single technician, and no one else is using lockout padlocks, it's far more efficient to have all of your locks open with a single key. Setups like these have the benefit of not requiring a massive number of keys and don't sacrifice safety, knowing only one technician can open a given lock.

Are There Identifiers on the Lock?

Traditional padlocks don't tend to have special casings and aren't usually engraved with a person's name. By contrast, safety lockout padlocks can be tagged with identifiers like the technician's name or carry messages about what kind of service is being provided to the machine.

The kind of messaging depends on what your individual needs are. It can be as simple as color-coding the locks, if all you need is a quick way of notifying people in the area why a machine needs to remain inoperable.

If you are looking to buy master locks for your business and want to find out if a safety lockout padlock is right for you, give the Philadelphia Security Products team a call today!

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