Machinery does not care. If a worker incurs an injury, the machinery plugs along as it always has — while the worker’s life is changed forever.
Failure to properly control hazardous energy is a leading
cause of serious accidents and injuries in the electrical
industry. As a result, organizations, such as OSHA, enact
laws and regulations to protect workers and improve
Two of the most frequent safety issues each year are
lockout-tagout (LOTO) and electrical wiring violations, which
are both continuously cited in the top 10 OSHA violations.
To decrease those violations, plant managers can take steps
to avoid common electrical wiring mistakes and follow the
LOTO standard created by OSHA to prevent the unexpected
energization, or start-up, of machinery and equipment prior to
the completion of maintenance or repair work.
Energy sources in machines and equipment pose a
serious threat to workers. LOTO is a process of steps and
safety practices meant to control hazardous energy while a
technician performs service or maintenance on machinery.
The procedure works to guard against unexpected
Failure to control hazardous energy can result in serious
injury or even death — everything from electrocution and
burns to fractured body parts is possible. For example, if the
internal wiring electrically shorts during equipment repair, the
worker will get shocked. In an industry where 10 percent of
serious accidents are caused by improper control of hazardous
energy, workers lose an average of 24 days to recovery.
Know How To LOTO
Instating proper LOTO practices ensures your workers
are protected while performing maintenance procedures on
equipment. The LOTO standard is not typically required
during normal production operations; however, it is necessary
when a worker will be exposed to hazards — such as when
removing or bypassing machine guards or when the worker
must place their body in contact with the point of operation or
a dangerous operating zone.
So, what’s the difference between lockout and tagout?
It’s just like it sounds — a lockout involves a locking
device, while a tagout uses a tag. Lockout procedures
mandate applying a secured lockout device, such as a
valve, on an energy isolating device, while tagout involves
MAI NTE NAN CE MAT TE RS
By Jeff Seabury
Victory Over Hazardous
Energy Safety Violations
Plugs and connectors that use GCM technology
are able to look upstream or toward the panel.
As seen here, a break in ground continuity or
reversed polarity from the receptacle back to the
panel will be indicated by a red LED on the plug
body immediately upon insertion.
Ground continuity monitoring plugs that provide
proper ground indication, such as using LED
lights, help indicate potentially hazardous wiring
conditions that are present.