Identifying Defective Equipment

Part 1. Preparation and safety


  • Demonstrate warning procedures for isolating vehicles and equipment.

Personal safety

Whenever you perform a task in the workshop you must use personal protective clothing and equipment that is appropriate for the task and which conforms to your local safety regulations and policies. Among other items, this may include:

  • Work clothing - such as coveralls and steel-capped footwear
  • Eye protection - such as safety glasses and face masks
  • Ear protection - such as earmuffs and earplugs
  • Hand protection - such as rubber gloves and barrier cream
  • Respiratory equipment - such as face masks and valved respirators

If you are not certain what is appropriate or required, ask your supervisor.

Safety check

  • Do not use tools and equipment that have been tagged as faulty.
  • Make sure that you understand and observe all legislative and personal safety procedures when carrying out the following tasks. If you are unsure of what these are, ask your supervisor.

Points to note

  • Lock out and tag out procedures have been developed to prevent avoidable and unnecessary workshop accidents.
  • The tag notifies other users that the tool or component is dangerous to use. Any equipment that is found to be faulty needs to be identified so that other users are not put at risk. Write the fault, the date and your name on the tag. Attach the tag to the tool. Smaller equipment should also be tagged and placed in a location where it is not forgotten. Notify your supervisor so that repairs or a replacement can be organized.
  • If a machine is faulty, the tag out process is slightly different. Large workshop equipment is permanently wired to the electrical supply, and it will have an isolation switch that will disconnect the electrical power. A defect tag should be placed on the isolation switch as well as the equipment. Turn the machine off at the power and master switches, attaching the tag in a manner that prevents the switches from being turned on. Once again, notify your supervisor so repairs can be arranged.
  • The lock out and tag out procedure is also used to notify other technicians that a vehicle is not drivable.
  • Your workshop will have a procedure to lock out and tag out a vehicle. It will involve the technician filling out a defective vehicle label stating the nature of the defect, name of the technician and date and time of the defect.
  • If you remove the vehicle keys, do not keep them in your pocket or on your workbench. Attach a label or tag to the keys that identifies the vehicle they belong to and store them in a secure key cupboard.
  • If a vehicle is going through a relearn process (the car's computer communicating with another computer), it may be necessary to leave the ignition "on" for many hours. In this case, tag the vehicle with instructions to leave the ignition "on", otherwise a passing technician may inadvertently turn it off.
  • If a vital component has been removed for service, it may not be obvious to a casual observer. It is necessary to tag the vehicle, to notify others of the defect, remove the ignition key and store it in a safe place.
  • Ask your supervisor to demonstrate the lock out and tag out process used in your workshop, and show you the location of the key cupboard.

Part 2: Step-by-step instruction

  1. Tag faulty hand tools
    Basic workshop tools that are broken or worn should be replaced.
    Make sure you tag the tool as faulty or broken and do not use it until you buy a replacement. Then discard the tool.
  2. Tag faulty power tools
    Other tools that have been identified as faulty, due to failure of parts, should also be tagged and set aside.
    The tool can only be used again after an authorized agent has made the repair.
  3. Fill out disabled vehicle warning notice
    Isolation tags are also used on disabled vehicles or vehicles undergoing a repair.
    In this case you will have to locate and complete the “Disabled Vehicle” warning notice.
    Write the registration number of the vehicle.
    Then the nature of the defect.
    Write your name.
    Then the date and time you completed the notice.
    Attach the notice to the driver’s window or the steering wheel.
  4. Store the keys
    Remove the keys, if necessary, and lock the vehicle.
    Attach a tag to the keys that identifies the vehicle they belong to.
    Store the keys in a key cupboard and notify your supervisor.
Tony Ferguson,
Feb 27, 2013, 7:56 AM