In September 2007, a worker at a meat processing plant in Waterloo, Iowa suffered a fatal chemical burn when she attempted to open a valve to an Ammonia piping system that was not locked out. Other workers suffered injuries and had to seek treatment. Lock out/tag out is a way to protect your employees by guarding against unexpected machine start-ups and ensuring that machines remain completely and temporarily turned off. Activities that require lock out/tag out include lubrication, cleaning, adjustments, retooling, un-jamming, repairing, servicing and inspections of equipment that is either normally energized, has moving parts, or conducts a fluid.
Clark Seif Clark, Inc. (CSC) can help you to develop a lock out/tag out program that will work for your workplace.
The release of hazardous energy in the industrial setting is an issue of urgent concern to OSHA and those charged with the safety of employees in the workplace. The absence of an effective energy control policy accounts for approximately 10% of all serious accidents and a substantial number of fatalities in the occupational environment every year. To address this problem, OSHA enacted its Control of Hazardous Energy Standard, more commonly referred to as the Lock Out/Tag Out Standard. (29 CFR1910.147).
The standard at its core addresses some of the fundamental practices and procedures essential to safeguard employees from an unexpected start up of machinery and equipment and hence release of hazardous energy during routine service and maintenance activities. The standard applies not only to hazards powered by electricity, but also to energy sources such as hydraulic, pneumatic, steam, chemical, and vehicular. The goal is an effective energy isolation and control policy that is not simply an overview of lock out/tag out procedures but trains authorized employees to understand the purpose and function of such a policy.
Additional information on the lock out/ tag out standard can be found at the OSHA website at http://www.osha.gov/sltc/controlhazardousenergy/recognition.html