.....Is the Control of Hazardous Energy, (29 CFR 1910.147) which is the practices and procedures necessary to disable machinery or equipment, thereby preventing the release of hazardous energy while employees perform servicing and maintenance activities.
Hazardous energies are: electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, and other energy sources.
29 CFR 1910.333 lists the specific requirements to protect employees working on electric circuits and equipment. This section requires workers to use safe work practices when employees are exposed to electrical hazards while working on, near, or with conductors or systems that use electric energy.
Why is controlling hazardous energy sources important?
Each employer has the flexibility to develop an energy control program suited to the needs of the particular workplace and the types of machines and equipment being maintained or serviced.
■ Develop, implement, and enforce an energy control program.
■ Use lockout devices for equipment that can be locked out. Tagout devices may be used in lieu of lockout devices only if the tagout program provides employee protection equivalent to that provided through a lockout program.
■ Ensure that new or overhauled equipment is capable of being locked out.
■ Develop, implement, and enforce an effective tagout program if machines or equipment are not capable of being locked out.
■ Develop, document, implement, and enforce energy control procedures.
■ Use only lockout/tagout devices authorized for the particular equipment or machinery and ensure that they are durable, standardized, and substantial.
■ Ensure that lockout/tagout devices identify the individual users.
■ Establish a policy that permits only the employee who applied a lockout/tagout device to remove it.
■ Inspect energy control procedures at least annually.
■ Provide effective training as mandated for all employees covered by the standard.
■ Comply with the additional energy control provisions in OSHA standards when machines or equipment must be tested or repositioned, when outside contractors work at the site, in group lockout situations, and during shift or personnel changes.
Sequence of Lockout
(1) Notify all affected employees that servicing or maintenance is required on a machine or equipment and that the machine or equipment must be shut down and locked out to perform the servicing or maintenance.
(2) The authorized employee shall refer to the company procedure to identify the type and magnitude of the energy that the machine or equipment utilizes, shall understand the hazards of the energy, and shall know the methods to control the energy.
(3) If the machine or equipment is operating, shut it down by the normal stopping procedure (depress the stop button, open switch, close valve, etc.).
(4) De-activate the energy isolating device(s) so that the machine or equipment is isolated from the energy source(s).
(5) Lock out the energy isolating device(s) with assigned individual lock(s).
(6) Stored or residual energy (such as that in capacitors, springs, elevated machine members, rotating flywheels, hydraulic systems, and air, gas, steam, or water pressure, etc.) must be dissipated or restrained by methods such as grounding, repositioning, blocking, bleeding down, etc.
(7) Ensure that the equipment is disconnected from the energy source(s) by first checking that no personnel are exposed, then verify the isolation of the equipment by operating the push button or other normal operating control(s) or by testing to make certain the equipment will not operate.
(8) The machine or equipment is now locked
Restoring Equipment to Service
When the servicing or maintenance is completed and the machine or equipment is ready to return to normal operating condition, the following steps shall be taken.
(1) Check the machine or equipment and the immediate area around the machine to ensure that nonessential items have been removed and that the machine or equipment components are operationally intact.
(2) Check the work area to ensure that all employees have been safely positioned or removed from the area.
(3) Verify that the controls are in neutral.
(4) Remove the lockout devices and reenergize the machine or equipment.
Note: The removal of some forms of blocking may require re-energization of the machine before safe removal.
(5) Notify affected employees that the servicing or maintenance is completed and the machine or equipment is ready for use.
*For more information and statistics refer to website www.osha.gov