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Cogbill Construction Weekly Safety Tuesday, May 11th, 2021

Machines that contain electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, or other energy sources have the potential to be hazardous. When these sources unexpectedly release active or stored energy, injury or even death can occur. To keep workers safe, the lockout/tagout procedures for energy isolating devices (valves, circuit breakers, disconnect, etc.) should be in place. Lockout/tagout procedures should ensure that machinery, equipment, or systems are isolated from all potentially hazardous energy to prevent unexpected energization, startup, or release of stored energy.

General procedures for lockout/tagout should consist of the following steps:

1. Preparation: Before an authorized or affected employee turns off a machine or piece of equipment, the authorized employee should possess knowledge regarding the type and magnitude of the energy, the hazards of the energy to be controlled, and the methods or means of controlling the energy.

2. Shutdown: The machine or piece of equipment must be turned off or shut down using the proper procedures established for it to avoid any additional or increased hazards to employees as a result of the machine or equipment stoppage.

3. Isolation: All energy-isolating devices needed to control the machine’s energy source must be located. These devices must then be used to isolate the machine or piece of equipment from its energy source(s).

4. Stored Energy Re-accumulation: Lockout devices hold energy-isolation devices in a safe or “off” position. Tagout devices, by contrast, are prominent warning devices that an authorized employee fastens to energy isolating devices to warn others not to re-energize the machine while he or she services or maintains it.

5. Verification: Before any work begins on machines or equipment that have been locked out or tagged out, an authorized person must verify that the machine or equipment has been properly isolated and de-energized.

All workers should receive in-depth Lockout/Tagout training as required by the OSHA Standard for Control of Hazardous Energy Sources.

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