Ever heard of hazardous energy? Imagine something like this? Or maybe something more like that? Not quite. Hazardous energy is any form of energy found around the workplace that poses a potential hazard.
It comes in many forms—electricity is a common one, but hydraulic pressure, radiation, and even gravity can sometimes be considered hazardous energy.
Modern machinery can utilize many types of energy, but when the machines are shut down for maintenance, that energy may not just go away. Workers can be injured when energy is released unexpectedly, so to keep them safe, extra precaution must be taken when working with this equipment.
That precaution is called Lockout Tagout. There are many variations on LO/TO processes and programs, depending on the type of hazardous energy present, but they all share four basic ideas that are addressed before work begins:
- Identify potentially hazardous sources of energy
- Disconnect those energy sources from the equipment
- Apply lockout or tagout devices to temporarily prevent reconnection
- Confirm that the system is safe
Lockout Tagout systems must adhere to OSHA’S Lockout Tagout rules as described in 29 CFR section 1910.147. As important as they may seem, Lockout Tagout plans get overlooked far too often, as Lockout Tagout is commonly found in OSHA’s annual ‘top ten’ list. In 2015, it was number 5.
For more information about LO/TO programs and the equipment used, visit GraphicProducts.com or follow the link, fill out the form and get your free copy of our Lockout/Tagout Best Practice Guide.