Choosing the correct type of padlock and a suitable key […]
Choosing the correct type of padlock and a suitable keying system needs careful consideration. The key factor driving the choice is purpose. While high-security padlocks are best suited to restrict access and protect valuable content, safety padlocks prove ideal to lockout equipment or hazardous work areas to prevent unwarranted accidents.Stainless Steel Hitch Pin Locks Manufacturers
Securing the work zone is any employer's prerogative, and given the fact that fatalities are often caused by people accidentally powering up faulty machines or those under maintenance, or commencing work even before the space has been cleared, use of appropriate lockout/tagout devices have become mandatory. Opting for suitable keying systems can make the job easier and safe as well.
Padlock Keying Systems
Keying system choices again are bound to differ based on the environment, usage and specific requirements.
Keyed Different - This is the default keying system where each padlock is paired with a unique (different) key. Such locks serve their purpose of securing a specific area or content, and can be opened only by the person who holds the matching key.
Safety padlocks that are keyed different are suited for one-off or specialist operations, where the technician or employee usually attends to one or two pieces of equipment and is not much of a bother to use different keys to secure each one of them.
Keyed Alike - Padlocks that are keyed alike can be operated using the same key. Such locks come in handy for individuals who operate multiple locks on a regular basis and for convenience opt for a single key. Security, however, is bound to be compromised if the key is lost or misplaced. Each employee or technician should have a set of locks keyed alike, preferably customised with a photo or name tag that help identify the person and contact him or her if the need arises.
Master Keyed - Padlocks that are master keyed can be operated using either the matching key or the master key. The master key comes in handy to access the locked space even if the paired key is not available, often used in emergency situations. Irrespective of padlocks being keyed alike or different, it is possible to opt for a master key to override the paired key.
Master keys help supervisors unlock the area or equipment, in case the employee servicing the area or equipment forgets to release the lock, misplaces or loses the keys.
Grand Master Keyed - An entire set of padlocks respond to one grand master key. Opting for such a system enables access to all areas, secured by these locks.
Key-Retained - Padlocks with retained keys are the ones designated to lock out machinery and heavy equipment that are off limits, problematic or under maintenance. The keys on such locks cannot be removed unless the unit is locked firmly, with shackles in place. This ensures that the specific area or machines are securely locked out.
The right safety padlocks with suitable keying systems help ensure safe operations. Safety padlock options too can vary depending on the work environment - choice of materials includes non-conductive composites, aluminium, steel and brass. Choosing the right hasps too makes a difference.
That said, it is important to note that working with electrical machines and system warrant suitable energy-control programs and devices for energy isolation. Lockout devices not only put the equipment beyond use, but can also block the energy/electrical source's utility functions. It is also possible to lockout valve and cables using the appropriate device.
Another factor worth a note is key charting. This service offered by most dealers ensures the locks earmarked for a specific firm are unique and not duplicated. Unique key cuts help fulfil repeat orders with new locks. Requesting for this service requires the firm to register their details. New key codes may also be requested for the existing system.