Worplace Safety – The Use And Application Of Hazardous Energy Control Devices

There is no national information out there on the number of workers killed each year by contact with uncontrolled hazardous energy. But, throughout the period between 1982 through 1997, the National Institute for Occupational Health (NIOSH) investigated 1281 fatal accidents as a half of its Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation Program, (FACE). The FACE program was only active in twenty states during that amount therefore the statistics represent just some of Yankee workers. The findings, for this portion of workers, showed that 152 fatalities concerned the installation, maintenance, service or repair tasks on or near machines, equipment, processes, or systems.

OSHA estimates that 29 CFR 1910.147 protects approximately 39 million employees and adhering to its needs will eliminate nearly 2% of all workplace deaths in areas laid low with this rule.

Application of Controls And Lockout/Tagout Devices

Lockout/tagout devices must be applied in the correct sequence as follows:

? Prepare for shutdown.

? Clean up the equipment or machinery.

? Disconnect the energy isolating device.

? Apply the lockout or tagout device.

? Render all stored or residual energy safe.

? Verify the isolation and de-energization of the machinery or equipment.

Testing or Repositioning of the Machines During Special Circumstances

OSHA allows the temporary removal of locks or tags only under special circumstances like when:

? The machines would like to be tested or repositioned.

If power is needed to check the machines or reposition the machines, equipment or components, re-energization must follow a specific procedure.

? When outside contractors are operating on-site.

Each the onsite and off-site employers must communicate concerning their respective lockout and tagout procedures. Each must be sure that its personnel perceive and go with all restrictions and/or prohibitions of the other employer’s energy control program.

? When servicing or maintenance is meted out by a cluster instead of one person.

The crew or group should follow a procedure that affords all workers a level of protection that’s equal to that provided by the lockout/tagout device.

? When there are shift or personnel changes throughout servicing or maintenance.

Either the energy isolating devices must remain below continuous management or the on-returning shift should verify the de-energization and lockout/tagout devices are in place on machinery and equipment.

Removal of Tags or Lockout Devices for Testing or Positioning of the Machines

When lockout devices or tags are removed and energy is restored to the machines or equipment for testing or repositioning, approved employees should take these actions:

? Check the work area to ensure that every one non-essential things are removed and the machines are intact and capable of operation.

? Check the world round the machinery to make certain all staff have been removed or are in safe positions.

? Locks and tags are to be removed solely by the workers who connected them when possible.

? Notify all employees before restarting machinery.

? Energize and reposition machinery.

? De-energize all systems; isolate the machinery from the energy source.

? Reapply lockout or tagout devices as specified.

Removal of Locks and Tags

1. Examine the work space to ensure that non-essential things have been removed which machine or equipment elements are intact and operate properly.

2. Check the world round the machine or equipment to confirm that each one workers are safely positioned or removed from the area.

3. Make positive that locks or tags are removed solely by staff who connected them. When this can be not potential, the device might be removed underneath the direction of the employer, provided he adheres to the specific procedures in the standard.

4. Notify affected staff after removing locks or tags and before starting equipment or machines.

These policies must be closely followed – with no deviation. Inconsistency creates confusion and will cause injury and even death.