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Course 710 - Energy Control Program (Lockout/Tagout)

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Purpose, Scope, and Application

Purpose of the Energy Control Program (ECP)

An 18-year-old worker died after becoming entangled in a portable mortar mixer at a residential construction site. The victim was cleaning the mixer at the end of his shift to prepare it for the following day. A painter working near the victim heard yells for help and saw the victim's arm stuck in the machine and his body being pulled into the rotating mixer paddles. Emergency medical services were called and responded within minutes. Rescue workers dismantled the drive mechanism to reverse the mixing paddles and extricate the worker. He was pronounced dead at the scene. (Source: OSHA)

The purpose of the Energy Control Program (ECP) is to provide written policies and rules within your safety management system that help prevent accidents like this. No worker should die or be injured due to the unexpected startup of machines and equipment, or release of stored energy.

Information about the Energy Control Program (ECP) is contained in 29 CFR 1910.147, Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout). The regulation addresses the practices and procedures necessary to disable machinery or equipment, thereby preventing the release of hazardous energy while employees perform servicing and maintenance activities. It also details measures for controlling hazardous energies - electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, and other energy sources.

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1. What management action should occur to help prevent fatalities or injuries due to the unexpected startup of equipment or the release of stored energy?

a. Discipline employees whenever an accident occurs
b. Develop an Energy Control Program (ECP)
c. Ensure 100 percent compliance
d. Accept nothing less than zero accidents

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Scope of Lockout/Tagout Rule

Periodic LOTO inspection of equipment and machinery.

Employers must establish an Energy Control Program (ECP) to ensure that before service and maintenance is performed, machines and equipment that could unexpectedly startup, become energized, or release stored energy, are isolated from their energy source(s) and rendered safe.

To do that, employers need to accomplish three critical activities to ensure employee safety when they are servicing or working near equipment that could expose them to hazardous energy:

  1. Energy control procedures: Employers must detail and document the specific information that an authorized employee must know to accomplish lockout/tagout, i.e., the scope, purpose, authorization rules and techniques to be utilized for the control of hazardous energy. See this sample.
  2. Periodic inspections: Inspections help employers ensure compliance with their energy control program and discover deficiencies. An inspection of each energy control procedure must be done at least annually by an authorized employee. Inspections of energy control procedures can be scheduled or random audits.
  3. Employee training: All employees must be trained to know basic hazardous-energy concepts and the purpose of the devices used to control it. They should also know what tasks might expose them to hazardous energy and how it can be controlled.

2. The purpose of lockout/tagout is to prevent injury due to the unexpected startup of machines and equipment, or _____.

a. release of stored energy
b. failure of equipment
c. unapproved operation of machinery
d. failure of operation

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What is lockout/tagout?

Example of a lockout/tagout of a switch.

Lockout/tagout" (LOTO) refers to specific practices and procedures to safeguard employees from the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities.

The standard requires, in part, that a designated individual turns off and disconnects the machinery or equipment from its energy source(s) before performing service or maintenance. It also requires that an authorized employee(s) either lock or tag the energy-isolating device(s) to prevent the release of hazardous energy and take steps to verify that the energy has been isolated effectively.

If the potential exists for the release of hazardous stored energy or for the reaccumulation of stored energy to a hazardous level, the employer must ensure that the employee(s) take steps to prevent injury that may result from the release of the stored energy.

3. The purpose of lockout/tagout is to prevent injury due to the _____ start-up of machines and equipment, or release of stored energy.

a. usual
b. unexpected
c. scheduled
d. regulated

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Lockout/Tagout Devices

Lockout Devices

Lockout devices, typically locks, hold energy-isolation devices in a safe, off, or neutral position.

They provide protection by preventing machines or equipment from becoming energized because they are positive restraints that no one can remove without a key or other unlocking mechanism, or through extraordinary means, such as bolt cutters.

Tagout Devices

Tagout devices, by contrast, are prominent warning devices that an authorized employee fastens to energy-isolating devices to warn employees not to re-energize the machine while he or she services or maintains it.

Tagout devices are easier to remove and, by themselves, provide employees with less protection than do lockout devices.

Tagout Devices
Lockout/Tagout Devices

4. Lockout devices hold energy-isolation devices in a _____ position.

a. safe or on
b. energized
c. safe, off, or neutral
d. down

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Performing LOTO Procedures

LOTO Procedures located at the machinery.

Whenever your employees perform servicing and/or maintenance on machines or equipment, they can be exposed to the unexpected energization, startup, or release of hazardous energy. Hazardous energy sources include electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, or other forms of harmful energy.

Servicing or Maintenance

Servicing or maintenance refers to constructing, installing, setting up, adjusting, inspecting, modifying, maintaining and/or servicing machines or equipment, including lubrication, cleaning or unjamming of machines or equipment, and making adjustments or tool changes, where workers could be exposed to the unexpected energization or startup of the equipment or release of hazardous energy.

Passive monitoring during normal production operations is not considered servicing or maintenance.

What is "Unexpected"?

The term "unexpected" also covers situations in which the servicing and/or maintenance is performed during ongoing normal production operations if:

  • A worker is required to remove or bypass machine guards or other safety devices; or
  • A worker is required to place any part of his or her body into a point of operation or into an area on a machine or piece of equipment where work is performed, or into the danger zone associated with the machine's operation.

5. During which of the following activities is a lockout/tagout procedure LEAST likely to be required?

a. Installing internal parts in equipment while it is in operation
b. Working within a machine's moving parts area
c. Monitoring equipment or making adjustments remotely
d. Removing or bypassing machine guards

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What is Hazardous Energy?

Energy in any form becomes hazardous when it builds to a dangerous level or is released in a quantity that could injure a worker. Workers servicing or maintaining machines or equipment may be seriously injured or killed if hazardous energy is not properly controlled. Injuries resulting from the failure to control hazardous energy during maintenance activities can be serious or fatal! Injuries may include electrocution, burns, crushing, cutting, lacerating, amputating, or fracturing body parts, and others.

  • A steam valve is automatically turned on burning workers who are repairing a downstream connection in the piping.
  • A jammed conveyor system suddenly releases, crushing a worker who is trying to clear the jam.
  • Internal wiring on a piece of factory equipment electrically shorts, shocking worker who is repairing the equipment.

Forms of Energy

Potential energy is converted into kenetic energy.
Potential energy is converted to kinetic energy.
(Click to enlarge)

Energy is the power for doing work. Energy exists in different types, but all are associated with motion. Regardless of the type, energy exists in two basic states:

  1. potential energy - Energy possessed by a body by virtue of its position relative to others, stresses within itself, electric charge, and other factors.
  2. Kinetic energy - Energy that a body possesses by virtue of being in motion..

Reference the infographic at the right: Releasing the load causes it to drop, converting potential energy to kinetic energy. It's the harmful transfer of energy at impact between an object and the worker that can cause injury. Note: it's the "harmful transfer of energy" that is always the direct cause of injury in an accident event.

6. What are the two basic states of energy?

a. Physical and electrical energy
b. Thermal energy and actual energy
c. Potential energy and kinetic energy
d. Kinetic energy and expendable energy

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Types of Energy

Electricity is not the only hazard!
(Click to enlarge)

It's important to understand that while exposure to electricity is the most common hazard requiring lockout/tagout, electricity is not the only form of hazardous energy employees may encounter. Secondary energy sources such as pneumatic or mechanical energy may still be stored with the potential to cause injury.

One or more of the following types of energy may require deenergization to completely isolate the equipment.

  • Chemical: Liquids, such as gasoline, diesel, benzene, acids, and caustics. Gases, such as propane, natural gas, and methane. Solids, such as fertilizer, wet and dry cell batteries, and combustible dust.
  • Electrical: Alternating (AC) and direct (DC) currents. Includes equipment and conductors at both household and industrial-voltages, photovoltaic systems, circuit breakers, transformers, capacitors, inverters, motors, and hybrid vehicles.
  • Gravitational: Objects such a hoisted vehicles, raised dumpster lids, objects supported by a crane, and elevated dump truck beds.
  • Hydraulic: Pressurized hydraulic systems, including hoses, pumps, valves, actuators, and reservoirs such as those on a forklift, in an automotive vehicle hoist, power press equipment, or an injection molding machine.
  • Mechanical: Sources such as a breeze rotating a wind turbine, water moving a paddle wheel, vehicle/mobile equipment movement, and a spring under compression. Extreme sound is also a hazardous mechanical energy.
  • Pneumatic: Pressurized air or gas systems, including pipes, pumps, valves, actuators, and pressure vessels such as those found in coating or pesticide sprayers, air compressors, and tank and pipe purging systems.
  • Radiant: Energy that travels by waves or particles, particularly electromagnetic radiation such as heat or x-rays. Ionizing radiation includes alpha and beta particles,computed tomography (CT) and X-rays. Non-ionizing radiation includes lasers, radio frequency (RF), and microwave (MW).
  • Thermal: Hot water, heated oil, steam, and equipment need time to cool, while liquefied gases, such as nitrogen, need time to warm to safe thermal levels.
  • Explosive: The rapid increase in the volume of energy with the generation of high temperatures and the release of gases. Supersonic explosions are called detonations. Subsonic explosions are called deflagration. A boiling liquid vapor expanding explosion is called (BLEVE) .

7. Which of the following is the most common form of hazardous energy requiring lockout/tagout procedures to protect employees?

a. Explosive
b. Electrical
c. Mechanical
d. Thermal

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This Pipeline Safety video is a great tailgate safety meeting discussion starter.

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