Maintaining Mobile Equipment: Controlling Hazardous Energy
- Damien Burlet-Vienney (Occupational Health and Safety Research Institute Quebec (IRSST)) | Yuvin Chinniah (Polytechnique Montreal, University of Montreal) | Barthelemy Aucort (Polytechnique Montreal, University of Montreal)
- Document ID
- American Society of Safety Engineers
- Professional Safety
- Publication Date
- December 2017
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 26 - 32
- 2017. American Society of Safety Engineers
- 13 in the last 30 days
- 14 since 2007
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- Maintenance work or related activities on mobile equipment can be hazardous.
- Mobile equipment is rarely covered in companies’ hazardous energy control program and procedures, even though serious incidents can occur during maintenance on this equipment.
- Removing the ignition key from mobile equipment and keeping control of it are important steps but are not always sufficient to control hazardous energies that may exist.
- Mobile equipment manufacturers and suppliers should systematically incorporate lockable battery cutoff, as well as blocking accessories, to make it easier for workers to follow energy control procedures.
When workers must perform maintenance in hazardous zones of machines, North American regulations require application of hazardous energy control procedures (ANSI/ASSE, 2016; CSA, 2013; OSHA, 1989). ANSI/ASSE Z244.1-2016 presents three different approaches: lockout (the primary approach), tagout and alternative methods. Common alternative methods for lockout/tagout used are electronically interlocked access, trapped key system, presence-sensing device or remote lockout.
These procedures protect workers from risks related to the inadvertent release of hazardous energy on machines, equipment and processes. The release of hazardous energy includes unintended motion of mechanical parts, energization, start-up or release of stored energy. A lockout/tagout procedure requires 1) shutdown of the machine; 2) control of any residual or stored energy source; 3) isolation and control of the machine’s energy source cutoff points; 4) verification; and 5) safely restarting the machine (ANSI/ ASSE, 2016; CSA, 2013). In a lockout procedure, each worker must place a personal padlock on each energy-isolating device to complete the third step. In a tagout procedure, a less preferred method, identified tags are used instead of personal padlocks.
When maintenance is designed to be an integral part of the production process or when conventional lockout/tagout is not feasible or prevents specific tasks from being performed (e.g., energy required), a worker can use an alternative method. It is recommended that the choice of method be supported by means of a risk analysis documented under the responsibility of a qualified person (ANSI/ASSE, 2016; CSA, 2013).
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