applying a prominent warning tag on energy
Workers must be trained on LOTO procedures and
certified as an “authorized employee” to apply LOTO
measures on machines. These are typically the workers
who would be performing the maintenance or service on
the equipment. Workers who are not fully trained to apply
LOTO procedures are dubbed “affected employees” and
often are the operators of the machinery affected by the
maintenance or service.
Improper wiring and faulty connections is at the root
of many OSHA violations. Due to the dynamic and
rugged nature of industrial environments, the everyday
use of electrical devices causes wear and tear that results
in insulation breaks, short-circuits and exposed wires.
Spotting and addressing deteriorating devices can protect
workers and prevent an electrical hazard from developing.
Typical indicators of a faulty connection include bent
prongs on receptacle blades, worn power cords, bad
connectors, improperly grounded cable management trays
and visual signs of corrosion.
Another way to ensure safety is by checking that
electrical devices are utilizing products and technology
that support ground fault protection. Without this
protection, a ground fault could send a potentially fatal
electrical current through a worker’s body. This can be
prevented with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)
device designed to help keep workers safe from electrical
shocks by monitoring the electrical current and shutting
off power when a ground fault is detected. For industrial
facilities, it is important to look for GFCI devices that
are developed to withstand wet and corrosive indoor and
To perform a lockout, there are several types of energy
isolation devices that can be deployed. A safety switch can
turn the flow of electricity to certain equipment on and off,
and some machines are equipped with a padlock to meet
LOTO requirements. Ground continuity monitoring plugs
can also be useful, especially those that provide proper
ground indication, such as using LED lights, to ensure
proper wiring. Mechanical interlocks that control the flow
of energy to one device at a time are also a good option
when considering LOTO procedures.
No matter what energy isolation device you choose to
use to control the energy flow to your machinery, it must
be placed in the “off” position and locked before any
maintenance is performed on the equipment.
Potential electrical hazards exist in nearly every
workplace. It’s simply part of the landscape but can
also be just as easily avoided. Encouraging safety best
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
IMPO RESOURCE GUIDE
Raco Ball & ACME screw Electric Actuators cover a broad
range of applications, are environmentally friendly, robust
& low maintenance replacements for hydraulic/pneumatic
cylinders. The modular systems design allows for Straight/Right-Angle/C-Design variations. Thrust up to 225,000 lbs, speeds up
to 30”/sec, strokes up to 20 feet. For fast linear movements up
to 400”/sec RACO produces the belt driven LM-Actuator. X-Y-Z
arrangement can be easily designed for paint/cutting/sorting/
RACO International, L.P.
practices, such as the LOTO procedure and proper electrical
wiring, is an important step in any routine. It can increase
productivity, reduce downtime and avoid expenses accrued
due to an accident. Not to mention, it is yet another important
precaution you can take to make sure your workers return
home safe to their families.
Jeff Seabury is industrial product manager at Legrand.
A potentially fatal electrical accident can be
prevented with a ground fault circuit interrupter